On Christmas, President Trump tweeted that he’d be heading “back to work” the next day. He then played golf at one of his golf courses in Florida on seven consecutive days.
During the first White House news briefing of the year on Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to defend Trump’s golf habit. Though Trump repeatedly criticized President Obama for golfing while he was in office and vowed that he was “not going to have time to go play golf” on the campaign trail, he’s golfed more than three times as much as Obama did to this point in his term.
“Can you tell me the single biggest thing the president has accomplished for the American people during his time on the golf course?” a reporter asked her.
Sanders replied: “I think it would certainly be developing deeper relationships with members of Congress.” (Trump played on Monday with professional golfers Taylor and Fred Funk.)
The reporter pushed back, noting that “if so much has been accomplished during this time — there seems to be a transparency issue with his time on the golf course.”
“We don’t always get confirmation of what he’s doing there despite a lot of requests,” the reporter continued, going on to allude to the fact that team Trump has used trucks and newly planted trees to block reporters from being able to see Trump golf. (A video Taylor Funk posted to YouTube showing some of his New Year’s Day round with Trump was quickly removed.)
“Why does it seem like the White House has some kind of issue about his time on the course?” the reporter asked.
Sanders didn’t directly answer the question, but instead suggested that Trump accomplished so much during his first year in office that he deserves the downtime.
“I think it’s the press that has an issue with his time on the course,” she said. “The president is extremely proud of the accomplishments we had during 2017. I don’t think anyone can argue it is probably one of the most successful first years in office.”