President Trump played golf for the fifth straight day on Dec. 30, but you won’t be able to find any footage of him at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida.
“Where CNN’s cameras were once positioned, trees appear,” CNN host Ana Cabrera noted during a recent segment. “Yes, new trees are being planted there.”
Days earlier, on Dec. 27, CNN caught Trump back on the golf course, which would not have been notable (or uncharacteristic) if it didn’t almost immediately follow the president claiming he would get “back to work” after the holiday.
The report sparked a furious response from the right, which painted CNN as mere paparazzi. “You hid in the bushes for hours to get 17-seconds of footage of the president swinging a golf club,” far-right media personality Jack Posobiec wrote in response to CNN’s video. “I’m sure all of your parents are so proud.”
Others, like Michael Flynn Jr.—the son of Trump’s former security advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in December—defended Trump’s frequent golfing by claiming the sport is a productive way of getting things done. “Idiots like this (who probably don’t play golf) have no clue how much business can be conducted on a golf course,” Flynn Jr. wrote.
Of course, if that is the case, the right’s criticism of President Obama’s golfing, including Trump’s own disparaging comments, were equally misguided.
Lest you think the planting of trees was an effort to offset the carbon impact of Trump’s frequent travels to his Winter White House, CNN noted that a white van was also used to obstruct the station’s view at that same spot earlier in the week—and that the vehicle moved anytime CNN’s cameraman did.
“Again, this is consistent with the pattern of Donald Trump to say during the campaign he was never going to play golf, or criticize President Obama and then he’s virtually outstripped President Obama’s eight years in his first year as president of playing golf,” Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia, offered on CNN. “It’s just consistent with his lying and doing something else.” (You can watch the full segment on CNN.)
The Hill reports that President Trump is back on the golf course today.