Following the humiliating collapse of his signature “TrumpCare” health care legislation in the United States House of Representatives on Friday, Donald Trump spent the weekend visiting three “Trump” branded properties in less than two full days on Saturday and Sunday, twice playing golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, and also dining at the newly opened Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.
Trump’s visits to his own properties are controversial because taxpayer funds used to finance his trips there would go straight into Trump’s own private company coffers.
The White House has not acknowledged Trump’s activities at the Trump-branded properties, saying that he spent the time holding “meetings.” But media reports and photographs compiled by the political site Think Progress confirmed that Trump golfed on Saturday and then likely again on Sunday at the Trump-branded course about 30 miles from the White House.
The White House Press pool confirmed that Trump ate dinner at his new hotel in Washington D.C., arriving at 9:06 p.m. on Saturday evening. The pool report said that the identities of Trump’s dining partners, if any, were “unclear.”
New York Times Washington D.C. reporter Noah Weiland posted on Twitter that Trump dined at the BLT Prime restaurant in the hotel accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, real estate heir Jared Kushner, who is also one of Trump’s top White House advisors.
At BLT Prime in the Trump Hotel. President Trump just walked in with Ivanka and Jared Kushner to raucous applause. pic.twitter.com/Z4cvcRdrNc
— Noah Weiland (@noahweiland) March 26, 2017
The dinner followed Trump’s visit to the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia earlier on Saturday. White House staffers told press pool reporters that Trump had traveled to the golf club, which he purchased in 2009 for a reported $18 million price, for “meetings.”
But photographs posted on social media Saturday afternoon showed Trump in golf attire, including cleats, and traveling around the property in a golf cart.
— Alex Marshall (@a_r_marshall) March 25, 2017
Trump then returned to his Virginia golf course on Sunday morning. This time, the White House kept press pool reporters in the dark about Trump’s activities at the club, keeping the media contingent confined to the club’s indoor tennis facility and proving no information about why Trump had traveled to the property for the second consecutive day.
If indeed Trump played golf again on Sunday, it would mark his 13th golfing expedition in the 66 days of his presidency, an average of one golf trip for every five days of his term. If he were to continue at this pace, Trump would play golf approximately 300 times in his four-year term.
Though Trump and other Republicans famously criticized President Barack Obama for making what they said were overly frequent golf expeditions, Trump is on pace to golf twice as often as Obama did. In contrast to Trump, who golfs almost exclusively at his own properties, causing taxpayer dollars to be channeled into his own privately-held company, Obama never golfed at a course that he owns — because he doesn’t own any.
Also on Saturday, the Florida Republican Party paid the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, a reported $150,000 to rent the facilities ballroom to hold a fundraising dinner, according to a report in The Palm Beach Post.
Though Trump did not attend, his wife Melania did make an appearance at the Mar-a-Lago event. See photos of Melania Trump arriving at the event and posing with Florida Governor Rick Scott at this link, and at this link.
Trump has so far spent five of the 10 weekends since his inauguration at Mar-a-Lago, at an estimated cost to U.S. taxpayers of $3 million per visit.
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