The government shutdown is over -- at least for now -- and Donald Trump is heading back to the golf course for the 155th time in his presidency.
Trump hunkered down in Washington, D.C., for several weeks amid the government shutdown, forgoing trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that marked the majority of his winter weekends through the first two years of his presidency. But with a temporary end to the shutdown now in place, Trump and family headed to Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of golf trips and Super Bowl parties.
As MSNBC's Kyle Griffin reported, Trump arrived at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, on Saturday morning for an apparent round on the links. According to the website Trump Golf Count, which keeps track of how many times the president has hit the golf course during his term in office, it was the 155th trip overall for Donald Trump.
While all presidents have taken some time out for golf, Donald Trump's trips have generated particular criticism due to his frequent attacks on Barack Obama for Obama's golf trips and for Trump's repeated promises on the 2016 campaign trail that he would not have time for golf. Nearly all of Trump's golf trips have also been to properties owned by his own company, generating criticism that the government spending for those trips is directly benefiting Trump and his family.
A November report from Quartz found that the U.S. Secret Service set aside $90,000 for golf rentals from a Florida company so Trump could remain protected while he hit the links. And TMZ reported that golf cart rentals at Trump's companies have cost taxpayers a total of $300,675 throughout his presidency.
But Trump had a long absence from the golf course and from his Mar-a-Lago resort during the shutdown, when he vowed to remain in Washington and attempt to craft a deal that would bring it to an end. Trump ultimately refused to budge from his stance demanding border wall funding and offered little to Democrats, leading him to bring an end to the shutdown six weeks later.Donald Trump's return to the golf course may be short-lived. The temporary funding extension that Trump signed to end the government shutdown only goes through the middle of February. If lawmakers cannot reach a deal on Trump's demand for border wall funding -- and Democrats show little willingness to budge from their stance not to offer any funding on the border wall -- then the government could once again be headed to a shutdown and Trump's trips to the golf course would cease again.