A longtime sportswriter who claims in a new book that President Donald Trump frequently cheats at golf likened Trump’s habit to a way of “showing you that he’s better than you.”
“He cheats like a mafia accountant. He cheats crazy. He cheats whether you’re watching or not. He cheats whether you like it or not,” Rick Reilly told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” Tuesday.
Reilly recounted several stories from his new book “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” of Trump allegedly cheating, even against professional players.
According to Reilly, Trump hit two balls in the water when he played professional golfer Tiger Woods and then claimed to have almost tied with him, kicked sportscaster Mike Tirico’s ball into a bunker when the two played, and claims to have a 2.8 handicap despite professionals such as Dustin Johnson assessing him to be a 9 or 10.
Trump’s caddies also allegedly know to accommodate his penchant, Reilly said – “He kicks the ball out of the rough so many times, the caddies call him ‘Pele,’” after the famous soccer player.
CNN has reached out to the White House and Trump Organization for comment. Trump is by no means the first president alleged to have cheated at golf – an early 2000s book by Don Van Natta Jr., “First Off the Tee,” said several presidents cheated at their game.
Reilly attributed Trump’s motivation to cheat to a compulsion to win at all costs.
“He has to win no matter what – it’s not that he loves golf, he just loves beating you,” Reilly said. “So these guys always say he’s fun to play with, always wins but then he doesn’t even take your money. It’s not about beating you out of the 10 bucks, it’s about showing you that he’s better than you.”
Reilly even offered $100,000 to charity to play Trump in golf – with a catch.
“I’ll play him for 100 grand, (for) either of our charities,” Reilly said. “But the rule is, we can’t play his course, can’t use his cheating caddies, and there’s got to be a rules guy with each of us. And I’ll play him all day.”