“Get in losers, we’re going golfing.”
By Andrew Milligan/PA Images/Getty Images.
“No president ever worked harder than me (cleaning up the mess I inherited)!” “I probably work more hours than almost any past president.” “I wouldn’t mind having [a dog], but I don’t have any time.” These are all things Donald Trump has said or tweeted about his apparently unprecedented, Herculean work ethic since moving into the Oval Office. One thing he hasn’t tweeted? “I had a giant golf simulator built in the White House to break up my long hours of TV watching on the days I can’t make it to one of my many golf courses, where I’ve spent hundreds of mornings and afternoons over the past two years.” But according to The Washington Post, he has in fact done just that:
President Trump has installed a room-sized “golf simulator” game at the White House, which allows him to play virtual rounds at courses all over the world by hitting a ball into a large video screen, according to two people told about the system. . . . Trump’s system cost about $50,000, and was put in during the last few weeks in a room in his personal quarters, a White House official said.
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President Trump has built his schedules around long blocks of “executive time”—unstructured periods in the day where the president’s schedules show no official meetings. He often spends this time watching TV, tweeting, holding impromptu meetings and making phone calls, aides have said. Trump has played golf—the traditional kind, on an outdoor course—about 139 times as president, largely at his own golf clubs, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. There is no way to have an exact count because he usually does not acknowledge having played.
For those of you keeping track, an installation that took place “during the last few weeks” likely occurred at the tail end of the government shutdown, a period in which Trump reportedly complained to friends about missing Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort and golf club of choice. Apparently, he got so wound up that he never again wanted to contemplate a situation in which he wouldn’t be able to stop whatever else he was doing during “executive time” to whack a few balls. (Thankfully, Trump broke his days-not-playing-golf streak on February 2, getting a round in with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus at his course in Jupiter, Florida.)
While Trump’s unparalleled laziness has been well-documented—we’ve known for some time now that the president rarely makes it out of the residence before 11 A.M., and punches out just after 4 P.M.—people would probably care a lot less about his golf routine if he hadn’t spent eight years going after Obama (who also had an on-site simulator, though an “an older, less sophisticated” version) for the same nasty habit. A mere sampling of his tweets on the matter include:
In a statement, a White House official chose not to go on the record but told the Post that Trump has not used his new toy during executive time, “or at all since it was put in.”
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