No drives, no putts and no chance for a hole-in-one. The government shutdown – and some dreary Washington winter weather – have resulted in President Donald Trump’s longest stretch away from the golf course since taking office.
It’s been 39 days since the President, who once chastised his predecessor for golfing too much, visited a golf course and one of his Trump-owned properties. During his first two years, the President has made a general practice of seasonally traveling most weekends to his Bedminster club in New Jersey or his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.
In his first two years in office, Trump easily surpassed President Barack Obama’s golf outings over the same time period. By CNN’s record keeping, Trump has spent 166 days at a golf club and 212 days at a Trump property. By comparison, it took Obama until the end of his first term to even hit 100 rounds of golf, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who keeps detailed statistics of presidencies.
“I mean he’s played more golf than most people on the PGA Tour, this guy,” Trump said of Obama in his final public appearance of the 2016 campaign in New Hampshire. “What is it, over 300 rounds? Hey, look, it’s good. Golf is fine. But always play with leaders of countries and people that can help us! Don’t play with your friends all the time.”
Trump also claimed during the 2016 election that he “may never see” one of his Trump properties while in office.
“Because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks.”
It is unclear, however, whether Trump golfs each day he visits a course or how many rounds he plays when he does. White House aides rarely confirm to the press that the President is golfing, even if he is at a golf club.
What would have been a Christmas vacation in Florida traditionally filled with golf turned into what the President called a “lonely” time in the White House due to the partial government shutdown.
Trump has told confidants he doesn’t believe he can travel to Mar-a-Lago during the shutdown, lest he be viewed as partaking in leisure activities as government employees go without paychecks.
Trump used his solitude in the White House to stress that he was ready to work during the shutdown, tweeting after Christmas: “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security.”
The President’s last longest absence from the links was during the 2018 midterm election season when he was aggressively campaigning for candidates around the country.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.