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Donald Trump's huge golf hypocrisy

On Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about President Donald Trump's penchant for...

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 7:56 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 7:57 PM

On Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about President Donald Trump's penchant for playing golf. Specifically, a reporter wanted to know, what was "the single biggest thing the President has accomplished for the American people during his time on the golf course?"

Here's how Sanders responded:

"I think it would certainly be developing deeper and better relationships with members of Congress in which those relationships have helped push forward the President's agenda, specifically when it comes to helping get the tax reform and tax cuts passed. A lot of that, I think, and the success of that came from the strong relationships that the President has. And he's played golf with a number of senators and used that time, certainly, to accomplish that."

Which is interesting. Because, based on the records kept by CNN regarding Trump's golf habits, there's very little evidence that the President has played much at all with members of Congress.

By CNN's count, Trump has visited a Trump-named golf club 92 times since he has been President. The White House rarely confirms that Trump is playing golf during these sojourns to his clubs, but, given the fact he tends to spend around five hours at them -- roughly the time it takes to complete 18 holes -- it's not much of a stretch to assume he played golf the vast majority of times he visited his golf properties.

Of those 92 trips, Trump is confirmed to have played golf with a sitting member of Congress seven times. All of the known lawmaker golf partners are Republican. He's played with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham three times, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul twice and GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and David Perdue of Georgia once each.

Important caveat: Because the White House rarely even confirms Trump is playing golf, it's possible he's played with lots more members of Congress than we know about publicly.

If we make calculations solely off of the numbers we have, however, what we get is this: 7% of the time Donald Trump has played golf as President, he has played with a sitting member of Congress.

Which is, um, not a lot. And certainly less than Sanders' insistence that golf has allowed Trump to "develop deeper and better relationships with members of Congress" suggests.

Why are Trump's golfing partners an issue, you ask? Because Trump made them an issue!

Trump tweeted 27 times about President Barack Obama's golf habits between 2011 and 2016, according to SB Nation. Here's a random sampling:

  • "While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!" (May 2016)
  • "President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!" (August 2016)
  • "Obama has admitted that he spends his mornings watching @ESPN. Then he plays golf, fundraises & grants amnesty to illegals." (December 2014)

They're all pretty much in that vein. Obama would rather play golf than do his job. If he was elected President, promised Trump, he wouldn't be playing much golf at all.

"If I win I may never see my property -- I may never see these places again," Trump said at an August 2016 campaign event. "But 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."

Trump added that if he did ever play golf, it would be with elected officials or foreign leaders -- using the game, unlike Obama, as a sort of social lubricant to get business done.

But, judging by the numbers, those sort of golf outings have been the exception rather than the rule. Trump seems to prefer to play with professional golfers -- as he did with Fred and Taylor Funk just before leaving Mar-a-Lago earlier this week.

Asked whether Trump conducted any business during their round, Taylor Funk told CNN: "No. It was all golf. He was fully in the moment and with us."

Right. So. There it is.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7823176
DeSoto676778
Harrison490283
Jackson439383
Rankin385986
Madison375793
Lee349079
Forrest298078
Jones285384
Washington253799
Lafayette244042
Lauderdale2398134
Lamar219038
Bolivar199477
Oktibbeha197654
Neshoba1820111
Lowndes175562
Panola167638
Leflore163287
Sunflower158849
Warren153255
Monroe146572
Pontotoc145219
Pike137256
Lincoln136856
Marshall136226
Copiah135736
Coahoma124036
Scott123829
Grenada120638
Yazoo119933
Simpson119549
Union116025
Leake113940
Holmes113760
Tate113639
Itawamba111325
Pearl River110559
Adams105243
Prentiss102919
Wayne99421
Alcorn96712
George95718
Covington94525
Marion93342
Tippah86521
Newton84927
Chickasaw83225
Winston82621
Tallahatchie82525
Tishomingo79741
Hancock78727
Attala78126
Clarke72750
Clay68421
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61812
Noxubee59617
Smith58516
Claiborne53416
Montgomery53123
Tunica52317
Yalobusha51314
Lawrence50414
Perry48423
Carroll46812
Greene45918
Stone45514
Amite42013
Humphreys41916
Quitman4176
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster36613
Wilkinson33120
Kemper32115
Benton3194
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27110
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1064
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
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