Trump plays golf ahead of Putin summit

President Donald Trump plays golf in Scotland before traveling to Helsinki, Finland, for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN's Phil Black reports.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 1:58 PM

Forget "Make America Great Again." What President Donald Trump truly cares about is "MTGA" -- "Make Trump Great Again," and we saw another example of this objective over the weekend. Trump, playing the role of a pitchman, used his trip to Scotland as an infomercial to help his financially ailing Trump Turnberry golf course, which has lost millions since Trump bought it in 2014.

For example, at a press conference held at the close of the NATO summit a few days ago, a reporter asked Trump, "What will be your message on Brexit?" Trump remarkably found a way to promote his golf course in his response: "I have no message ... I own a lot of property there. I have Turnberry in Scotland, which is a magical place -- one of my favorite places."

And in case people missed that plug, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to promote his golf course again: "I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf." He then added, "This place is incredible!"

But wait, there's more to this Trump infomercial. The President then played a round of golf at his Scottish country club on Saturday, ensuring even more media coverage of his "incredible" property.

Although you have to wonder if Trump's personal endorsement is actually good for business. Keep in mind that one of Scotland's main newspapers, The Scotsman, slammed Trump upon his arrival as a "a racist, a serial liar, and either a sex abuser or someone who falsely brags about being one in the apparent belief that this will impress other men in a metaphorical 'locker room.'"

Say what you will about Trump -- and people have -- but he has been consistent in one area: Looking out for number one. And by number one, I don't mean the United States of America. Rather, I mean his bottom line.

Before Trump was sworn in as President, his decision to promote his properties was his choice. But Trump has continued to market his businesses as President, which means that we are essentially paying for his infomercials, since our tax dollars are being used to pay for his trips to visit his properties and the costs associated with the press conferences where Trump touts his businesses.

Imagine if President Barack Obama had owned a chain of hotels and had used his presidency to continually promote those interests. The Benghazi hearings would've paled in comparison, as the GOP-controlled House -- together with right wing media outlets like Fox News -- would've taken Obama to task. But when it comes to Trump doing that, those same politicians and media commentators are silent.

Of course, Trump's infomercial for his Turnberry golf course is far from the only time he has used taxpayer-funded trips and official presidential press conferences to publicize his properties. In fact, according to CNN, Trump's Scotland visit was the 167th day of his presidency that he spent at one of his properties.

One of the most conspicuous examples of his self-promotion came last August after the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that killed Heather Heyer and left several injured. At Trump's press conference a few days later, the President actually inserted a plug for his winery in the area, telling the throngs of reporters: "I know a lot about Charlottesville. ... I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States -- it's in Charlottesville."

When Trump traveled to South Korea last year to address the nation's legislature, he again used the massive media coverage to boost his business. This time Trump told the Korean legislators, "Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth." He then added a plug: "And you know what I'm going to say -- the women's US Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey."

Trump even roped in his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, to join the cast of his infomercial last November after he, while on a taxpayer-funded trip to Asia, stopped off to visit the Trump International Hotel Waikiki in Hawaii. When reporters asked Sanders why Trump took time on this official trip to visit his hotel, she delivered a plug right on cue, declaring, "It has been a tremendously successful project, and he wanted to say hello and thank you to the employees for all their hard work."

Maybe Trump or Sanders will tell the press, "If you call right now, you can save 20% off your next stay at a Trump hotel if you use the promo code 'MAGA.'" Adding, "Operators are standing by now!"

While we don't know what Trump or Sanders may promote next, we do know that Trump will not change. He has been promoting number one his entire life. But if Trump wants to hawk his products like we see with informercials for "The Thighmaster" or "George Foreman Grill," Trump, not the American taxpayers, should be the ones paying for it.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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