Donald Trump is taking heat from veterans groups for refusing to visit U.S. troops in combat zones his first year in office — breaking a presidential tradition to do so — but instead spending more than 100 days golfing and staying at his company’s luxury resorts.
As the New York Daily News noted, Trump has paid visits to military bases but did not go to combat zones at all in his first year in office. That has led groups like VoteVets to call out the president and his record on supporting the U.S. military.
“First off, Donald Trump’s been avoiding combat zones since 1964 when he got his first draft deferment,” Will Fischer, director of government relations at VoteVets and an Iraq War veteran, told the New York Daily News.
There are still no public plans for Donald Trump to visit Afghanistan or Iraq, where more than 20,000 U.S. troops are stationed in total. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told USA Today that they could not comment on when Trump may visit either of those countries of Syria.
Critics are hitting at Trump for what appears to be a disconnect between his words and action. Though Trump attacked NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem — claiming that it was disrespectful to the sacrifice that U.S. troops have made — critics noted that Trump himself received four college deferments from fighting in Vietnam and later attacked Sen. John McCain for being captured during the war, the New York Daily News noted.
The left-leaning Shareblue Media has also attacked Donald Trump, noting that while he skipped out on visiting U.S. troops in combat zones, he did find time to visit his own properties more than 100 times and making nearly 90 trips to the golf course. According to the site Trump Golf Count, the president made 89 golf trips in his first year, compared to 29 for Obama during his first year in office. Trump also spent 79 days staying at his company’s luxury resorts his first year.
While Obama was president, Donald Trump frequently attacked him for going on golf trips, calling Obama lazy. Trump is now on pace to play more than three times as many rounds of golf than Obama did.
Donald Trump has not given any indication when he might visit U.S. troops in combat zones.