PALM BEACH — After igniting a firestorm on Twitter early Saturday by accusing former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones, President Donald Trump spent more than 3½ hours at his Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach.
The White House said the president was conducting meetings, taking phone calls and that he “might hit a few balls” while visiting the Jim Fazio-designed golf course.
Trump was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and golf shirt when he left the club. It appears to have been Trump’s seventh golf outing since taking office Jan. 20.
That figure is less than certain because the White House — perhaps mindful of Trump’s frequent criticisms of Obama’s golf habits — rarely confirms whether Trump is golfing.
Obama played 333 rounds of golf in his eight years as president, according to presidential schedule expert Mark Knoller of CBS News. That’s one round for every 8.8 days in office. Saturday was Trump’s 44th day in office. If he indeed golfed for the seventh time, that’s a rate of once every 6.3 days.
Here’s a rundown of previous outings where President Trump appeared to be playing golf:
• Feb. 4 – Arrived at Trump International Golf Club at 9:33 a.m., left at 2:05 p.m. wearing golf hat and golf shirt.
• Feb. 5 — Arrived at Trump International at 9:27 a.m., left at 2 p.m. wearing golf hat and golf shirt. According to a pool report that day, “the White House shares that while at the Trump International Golf Club, he has had meetings and may play a few holes of golf.”
• Feb. 11 — Arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter at 9:26 a.m. with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Also joined on the course by two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els. Trump and Abe left the club at about 1:30 p.m.
• Feb. 12 – Arrived at Trump International at 8:31 a.m., left at 1:49 p.m., appeared to be wearing a golf shirt in the limo ride back to Mar-a-Lago.
• Feb. 18 – Arrived at Trump International at 8:51 a.m., left at 1:16 p.m. Asked the next day if Trump played golf during the 4½-hour visit to the golf club, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “I do believe he played a couple of holes.”
• Feb. 19 — Arrived at Trump International at 8:58 a.m., left at 2:25 p.m. Spokeswoman Sanders: “I know he played a couple of holes this morning, but I’m not going to disclose any of the others that were there.” Golf blog NoLayingUp.com later revealed Trump played 18 holes with four-time major champion Rory McIlroy.
After the McIlroy news, Sanders said the president “intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer. He also had a full day of meetings, calls and interviews for the new NSA (national security adviser…”
• Saturday — Arrived at Trump International at 9:26 a.m., left at 1:05 p.m. with the “might hit a few balls” description from the White House and aforementioned hat and golf shirt.