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Pro-Trump pundit accuses Obama of golfing after Daniel Pearl’s killing — in 2002

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Kayleigh McEnany, a CNN commentator and frequent Trump surrogate, appeared on the network Monday night to defend President Trump's golfing habits — by accusing former president Barack Obama of playing golf at inappropriate times.

“You had President Obama, who after the — I believe it was the beheading of Daniel Pearl — spoke to how upset he was about that, then rushed off to a golf game,” McEnany said. “I think when we're in a state of war, when we're in a state of mourning, you should take time off from the golf course.”

Pearl was a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan and killed.

There was one big problem with McEnany's claim, as pointed out by journalist Yashar Ali in a widely shared tweet. Pearl was killed in 2002 — when Obama was a state senator in Illinois. George W. Bush was president at the time.

On Tuesday morning, McEnany apologized on Twitter, saying she had used the wrong name. She suggested she had meant to say James Foley, a freelance photojournalist who was kidnapped in Syria and beheaded by the Islamic State militant group in 2014.

Still, many viewers seized upon the mistake and accused McEnany of trying to politicize the deaths of Pearl and Foley. People also criticized CNN for not correcting McEnany's error immediately on air.

Soon, the hashtag #ObamaWasGolfingWhen appeared.

“Obama also went golfing right after Lincoln was shot,” one Twitter user commented.

"#ObamaWasGolfingWhen JFK was assassinated,” another Twitter user mused.

At the time of Foley's death in 2014, Obama was on vacation on Martha's Vineyard. He delivered remarks condemning Foley's killing from the Massachusetts island, then visited a golf course soon afterward, drawing ire from critics. Obama later acknowledged that he should have known better than to do so.

“It is always a challenge when you're supposed to be on vacation,” he told Chuck Todd on NBC's “Meet the Press” a few weeks later. “There's no doubt that, after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through, after the statement that I made, that you know, I should've anticipated the optics.”

Trump, who repeatedly criticized Obama for hitting the links, boasted on the campaign trail that he was “not going to have time to go play golf” if elected. Trump has since come under criticism for his frequent golf outings in the two months he has been president.

President Trump criticized former president Barack Obama for golfing too often. Now the White House is defending his own frequent outings. (Video: Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

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