Every time President Donald Trump plays golf, it's a news story -- and for good reason.
However, now that Trump is playing golf on the weekends as thousands more Americans die from the coronavirus pandemic, his rounds are under more scrutiny than ever.
Sensing that, Trump tweeted a response on Sunday morning, justifying playing golf on the weekends as his form of exercise.
...rounds, no problem. When I play, Fake News CNN, and others, park themselves anywhere they can to get a picture, then scream “President Trump is playing golf.” Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a “tiny” bit of exercise. Not bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2020
Trump made several false claims in his tweets:
- Trump typically spends about 4 hours on the golf course, which is about normal for a round of golf at a private club. That wouldn't be considered a quick round.
- Obama did play more golf than Trump while in office, playing approximately 333 rounds -- but in 8 years as President. Trump will end his four-year term with close to 300 rounds played.
Trump does, though, get some exercise playing golf, even though he rides in a cart. Playing golf, even if riding in a cart, burns calories and is a good form of aerobic exercise.
So why is it a news story every time Trump plays golf? For one, it's news when a President does pretty much anything outside the White House. But it's more than that.
President Trump plays all of his rounds of golf at clubs he owns, meaning he is getting free marketing for those facilities when he brings the press pool to the clubs and they report from them.
It's also important because these rounds cost taxpayers money. On average, a Trump round of golf costs approximately $500,000-$600,000, including the time for Secret Service agents and golf-cart rentals specifically to protect Trump. The average round cost increases because more resources are required to protect Trump when he plays golf near Mar-a-Lago in Florida, including some Coast Guard resources.
How often Trump has played golf as President is also a big story because, as a candidate, Trump said that he wouldn't have time to play golf because he would be working so hard to achieve his goals in office.