This Sunday was an important marker in many respects as the war in Syria intensified, and many in the Christian religion celebrated Palm Sunday. However, for detractors of President Donald Trump, it serves as another important milestone: as April 10 was the day Trump played his sixteenth game of golf. While the sport has served as a leisure activity for many presidents—including, Barack Obama—Trump’s habits are being used as further evidence for those who believe the Commander in Chief is neglecting his position.
White House officials, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer, have released few details about these visits except for their locations; Trump-owned golf clubs near his Mar-a-Lago resort. According to Spicer, these visits are little-documented for the sake of the new President’s privacy, and many international dignitaries have joined him in the game.
However, this seeming lack of discrepancy has fueled doubts about Trump’s real intentions. Spicer’s claims are widely disputed, and even for those who believe them, the idea of entertaining dignitaries at one of his own properties echoes a similar controversy about Trump using his Mar-a-Lago resort to host confidential conversations. With a 41 percent approval rating and several ongoing controversies, Trump’s golfing habits are being used as yet another talking point for politicians across the board.
Most notably, the Trump opposition has cited a multitude of tweets from before the 2016 election, in which Trump criticized Obama’s golfing habits. According to these tweets, Obama played 333 rounds during his eight-year presidency, which Trump took as a sign of inefficiency. In spite of his long-running habit, though, detractors have noted that Obama did not start playing until “almost the 100-day mark of his presidency.” When stacked up against this precedent, they claim, Trump’s behavior appears hypocritical and irresponsible.
For many who oppose Trump, the golf games would have been a non-issue, were they not used as a talking point against the previous president. In the meantime, reporters continue to scour social media for evidence of Trump’s visits, further evincing that they are just another private presidential affair that is no longer secret from the public eye.