Then there’s the golf. During the 2016 campaign, Trump insisted he would rarely, if ever, play golf as president. He’d simply be too busy, he assured voters, in part because he’d spent so long criticizing President Barack Obama’s recreation habits. Then Trump won and was inaugurated — and played golf incessantly.
By The Washington Post’s count, he’s likely played on at least 247 occasions, three-quarters of Obama’s total over twice as long a time in office. Of those 247 rounds, 195 occurred on either a Saturday or a Sunday. In fact, Trump’s played golf on almost exactly half of the weekend days that he has been in office, always at a club owned by his private company. (All but two of his rounds overall have similarly been at Trump Organization courses.) On an additional 36 weekend days, he has visited a Trump property without playing golf.
Given those numbers, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that Trump has visited a Trump Organization property on about 2 out of every 7 days he’s been president. That’s often on the weekends, but not always. During the summer, he has spent lengthy vacations at his club in New Jersey; over the holidays, he often decamps to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Even during the presidential campaign, he would often travel to Florida or Nevada for events — and stay at his properties in Miami or Las Vegas. Over his time in office, The Post has learned that the Trump Organization has billed the government for at least $2.5 million, including once billing the United States for a $3 glass of water.
We should therefore not have been surprised when, after five days of counting led to the determination Saturday morning that Trump had lost his bid for reelection, Trump was not at the White House to receive the news. He was, instead, at his golf course in Sterling, Va., a location he’s visited 97 times as president, on 7 percent of the days he’s been in office. The only places he has visited on more days are Mar-a-Lago and his club in Bedminster, N.J.
The man who said he wouldn’t play golf as president learned that he would no longer serve as president while he was playing golf. An almost Shakespearean coda.
But, then, where better to hear the news? After the race was called, a crowd quickly gathered around the White House to celebrate his loss. At the golf club he owns, though, the vibe was different. His paying customers were unlikely to taunt or chide him; he even stopped to take photos with a newly married bride.
A fitting moment in its own way, a quick glimpse of the life to which he’ll soon return.