President Donald Trump abruptly canceled a weekend trip to Bedminster, New Jersey, tweeting that he was staying in Washington, D.C., in order to “make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.” A few hours later, as The Guardian reports, Trump hit a private golf course in Virginia.
Protests have been ongoing in the nation’s capital in response to the killing of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in late May. Earlier this month, some of the protests turned violent and demonstrators have removed Confederate statues. Trump has pushed back against the protests over police violence against African Americans and has moved to protect statues from being toppled.
“I was going to go to Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, but wanted to stay in Washington, D.C. to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced. The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” he tweeted on Friday night.
While it isn’t clear what prompted Trump to make the last-minute change, the weather in Bedminster was forecast for rain, and the weather in Sterling where his Trump National course is located was sunny and warm. This was Trump’s approximate 271st time golfing since taking office, an average of once every 4.6 days.
Trump had been critical of former President Barack Obama for frequently golfing while in office. During his eight years as president, Obama hit the links 333 times.
The president’s presence in Virginia was met with some pushback, and it wasn’t the first time protesters have met Trump at his golf course.
“A small group of protesters at the entrance to the club held signs that included, ‘Trump Makes Me Sick’ and ‘Dump Trump’. A woman walking a small white dog nearby also gave the motorcade a middle finger salute,” noted the White House report.
It isn’t clear if the president actually golfed, but he was seen wearing his standard attire: a white polo shirt and red hat.
Trump has faced criticism from many who say that he has chosen to go golfing even as the novel coronavirus continues to expand in some areas of the U.S. Critics say that his response to the pandemic has been inadequate and has resulted in the U.S. having the worst outbreak in the world.
States like Texas, Arizona, and Florida have been forced to pause measures to re-open their economies as the number of cases has surged.
Currently, over 127,000 people have died from COVID-19, with over 2.54 million cases of the disease in the U.S. alone.