The Trump family landed in Florida on Air Force One on Friday, and this has spawned polarized reports about how Donald Trump spent his time over the weekend. Along with President Trump and First Lady Melania, Barron Trump and Melania’s parents also hopped on board Air Force One for the trip from Washington, D.C., to Florida.
A family weekend has turned into a field day for some in the press to jab at Donald Trump’s enthusiasm for the game of golf. Some folks are even attempting to keep a count of the amount of time Trump has spent with a golf club in his hand since his inauguration.
Barron Trump, along with his grandparents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were captured in a few rare pictures during their journey to the Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home, reports Honey News. Melania’s parents don’t make a habit of posing for photographers or getting into the limelight. After the presidential inauguration in January, it was noted that Melania’s parents were there, but they stayed in the background.
Very few public pictures exist of Melania’s parents, so when they were seen walking down the steps of Air Force One and onto the tarmac this weekend, the media was ready and waiting with cameras. It looked as if the Trump family members were ready to spend a family weekend at Mar-a-Lago, but that is not how some in the media conveyed this — it was all about Trump playing too much golf. They even compared his golf outings with the number of rounds of golf played by former President Obama while in office.
The Trump’s weekend in Florida is being called another golf weekend for Donald Trump by some media sites. The comparison of President Trump’s golf outings to former President Obama’s golf habits are plentiful today. Many are throwing Donald Trump’s previous criticism of Obama’s golfing vacations out there as a dig toward Trump. Despite not being able to confirm with Trump’s camp whether the President played golf or not, some in the media place him there anyway.
According to the Boston Globe, when Trump was asked if he played any golf over the weekend, he answered, “Very little.”
Trump spoke with the reporters who traveled on Air Force One with him Sunday back to Washington about his busy weekend. According to the Globe, what Trump did was recount what he called a “busy weekend of meetings to sell the health care bill and strategize about the nuclear threat from North Korea.”
“For the most part, aides have declined to confirm that Trump was playing golf during his weekends in Florida, instead repeatedly telling reporters that the President ‘may’ hit a few balls at his course but that they didn’t know for sure,” reports CNN.
With that said, CNN is also reporting that five out of the seven weekends that Trump has been the president of the nation, he “has visited one of his golf courses in Florida – seemingly to play the sport.”
The news site goes on to say that “Trump has visited” two of the golf courses he owns near his Florida home 10 times in his first two months in the White House. They report that Trump “visited,” not played golf, during those 10 times. That’s because Trump held events at some of these locations or met with officials. These meetings and events were very much a part of Trump’s presidential duties.
Yes, Donald Trump was critical of Obama’s golf, but there was a reason for this. Obama’s timing wasn’t the best. If there was a dark national event going on, you probably wouldn’t find Trump responding to it from the golf course or stepping off the course for just a few minutes to address what is going on.
As Breitbart reported back in 2015, Obama played golf after the news broke regarding the death of James Foley, the American who was beheaded while being held hostage by ISIS. The graphic images of the beheading made their way online and horrified the nation. This happened while Obama was on a 17-day vacation at the time, not a short weekend trip as Trump is known for. Obama went right on playing golf as Foley’s family mourned and while the nation tried to process what had just happened.
At the time Obama admitted it probably wasn’t the right thing to do, saying, “I should have anticipated the optics.”
Obama headed for the golf course again that year despite the news that a Taliban suicide bomber had just killed six American military personnel in Afghanistan. As the White House press secretary addressed the public about this attack and loss of six American lives, Obama made his way to the golf course.
This is what Donald Trump protested against – the commander-in-chief playing golf when America was experiencing a crisis. Families were making arrangements to bury their loved ones and clips of Obama chipping at a ball on the golf course followed. The horrific way James Foley died did not only bring overwhelming sadness to Americans, but it scared them as well with the horrific news of the beheading.
In contrast, Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka, made an unannounced trip to Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base to “honor the returning remains of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in a weekend raid in Yemen,” which was reported by the Chicago Tribune back in February. While Donald Trump is at his home in Florida, so what if he gets in a round of golf? He is not neglecting any pressing matters, and it is a way for him to just relax for a few hours. The man is up before the sun and works late into the night from all accounts today. Donald Trump wouldn’t play golf through a national event that delivered so much sadness as Obama did. This was Trump’s bone of contention when it came to Obama’s golf outings: the inappropriate times to be on the golf course.
No one would care how much golf Obama played if he played it at appropriate times. When the leader of the country is needed, even if it is just to say I am here and feeling all your pain, they should be fully present for the people of the nation. Pictures of a smiling president joking around with cronies playing golf as pictures of dead Americans appear on the news does not convey a president who is present for the citizens at a time of crisis.
Slovenian-Americans Viktor & Amalija Knavs (Melania Trump's parents) arrive in FL on Fri. Media doesn't show them very often. pic.twitter.com/KYEuvu11Bj— #WeWonItAll (@GodlessNZ) March 18, 2017
Getting back to Melania’s parents, can you blame them from keeping a low profile in the press after seeing what their own daughter and son-in-law go through in the media today? This couple have to endure hearing all the disparaging remarks about their daughter and even their grandson, Barron, who was a target at one time for some in the press.
[Featured Image by Jose Luis Magana/AP Images]