The alert from Fox News went out at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
“PRESIDENT TRUMP SPENDING WEEKEND WORKING AT THE WHITE HOUSE,” the chyron announced, under an image of the White House presumably captured just minutes before.
The timing of the tweet alert was curious: After all, the weekend was nearly over.
“[T]his is like when you start to do your homework when you hear the garage door opening,” one Twitter user noted.
And, as it turned out, the announcement wasn't entirely true.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 26, 2017
According to pool reports, the president spent Saturday visiting the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va., just outside Washington.
Trump arrived at the golf club at 11:01 a.m. Saturday, wearing a suit, a white shirt with no tie and a red hat with “USA” emblazoned on the front, a pool reporter noted. Though the traveling press pool asked multiple times about the president's activities, Trump's team did not provide answers, the report stated.
The press pool was told that Trump had “meetings” at the golf club. The presidential motorcade returned to the White House shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday, the pool report said.
By then, pictures had emerged on social media of Trump riding a golf cart and dressed in golf attire, still wearing a red hat, at Trump National Golf Club.
— Alex Marshall (@a_r_marshall) March 25, 2017
The Instagram user who had posted three of those pictures later appeared to make his account private.
According to pool reports, about 9 p.m. Saturday, Trump visited the Trump International Hotel in Washington to have dinner, though once again reporters were not told with whom he would be dining. Photographs of Trump with son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump at a hotel restaurant later emerged.
On Sunday morning, Trump once again returned to the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, arriving at 11:04 a.m. A half-hour later, reporters were informed that the president was “wrapping up last of three meetings shortly,” a pool report stated. The motorcade arrived back at the White House at 12:36 p.m. Sunday.
An Instagram post from another user showed Trump appearing to watch the Golf Channel with two unidentified people on Sunday.
Trump's official schedule as released by the White House before the weekend simply said the president had “no public events scheduled” Saturday and listed “in-town travel pool call time” for both Saturday and Sunday. As yet, there have been no official announcements about who was included in the three meetings mentioned Sunday.
Neither the White House nor a Fox News spokeswoman responded to requests for comment Monday morning.
On social media, responses to Fox's urgent-sounding news alert were relentless. The tweet was roundly mocked online for its timing — and for the fact it wasn't true.
News Alert: President Does His Job, Maybe https://t.co/uJg06zytF1
— eve peyser (@evepeyser) March 26, 2017
"don't applaud a fish for swimming" https://t.co/NhGhZBHM0C
— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 26, 2017
BREAKING NEWS. President does his job at his taxpayer provided place of work. https://t.co/IgJy3pltdb
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) March 26, 2017
when "President of the United States Does His Job" is an impossible scoop https://t.co/3fq18ITjnM
— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) March 27, 2017
Trump repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama for hitting the links and boasted on the campaign trail that he would work nearly nonstop if elected.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump told the Hill in June 2015. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
“Hey, look, it’s good. Golf is fine,” Trump said in November. “But always play with leaders of countries and people that can help us! Don’t play with your friends all the time.”
This weekend marked Trump's 13th and 14th visits to a golf course since becoming president, according to The Washington Post's Philip Bump. In addition, Bump broke down Trump's schedule since the inauguration, showing that for nearly 1 out of every 3 days Trump has been president, he has visited a Trump-branded property.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has defended Trump's visits to his golf courses, saying that the president does not necessarily play golf every time.
“Just because you go somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean you did it,” Spicer told reporters last week. “So, on a couple of occasions, he’s actually conducted meetings there, he’s actually had phone calls. So, just because he heads there, it doesn’t mean that that’s what’s happening.”