Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to defend his regular rounds of golf, saying he is only hitting the links as his form of exercise and claiming that he is actually golfed less than his predecessor, Barack Obama. One former Obama White House alum and Democratic strategist says that Trump’s tweet a “grotesque lie.”
Scott Dworkin, who served as deputy director of Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee and is a co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, strongly disagreed with Trump’s assertion that he hasn’t played golf as much as Obama.
“This is such a grotesque lie,” Dworkin tweeted in response to Trump’s claim. “President Obama played less than 100 rounds of golf in 8 years. And he worked the same day after he was done golfing. You’ve golfed hundreds of times in less than four years, and you’ve never done any work after golfing.”
Dworkin was one of many to dispute Trump’s claim, which came after the president had faced criticism for hitting the golf course multiple times during the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 130,000 Americans dead. Trump has hit the links several times over the course of the last few weeks after avoiding golf trips for the first few months of the outbreak.
In claiming that he golfed less frequently than Obama, Trump also appeared to justify it as a needed excursion from his busy schedule.
“I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains. My ‘exercise’ is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer….”
The numbers seem to back up Dworkin’s assertion. An analysis from CNN found that Trump spent part of 266 days at one of his company’s golf courses. Trump’s staff has been very private about whether he actually hit the links, rarely listing the president’s golf rounds on his public schedule. Obama had played 98 rounds of golf at the same point in his presidency.
While golfing has been a common past-time for recent presidents, Trump’s golf trips have attracted extra criticism for not only their frequency and his tendency to visit only courses owned by his company, but also due to his past criticism of Obama. Trump regularly blasted Obama for his golf trips and said during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would likely be too busy to do any golfing if he were president.