A U.S. president spending time on a golf course is not a big deal.
Despite holding the most powerful job on the planet, a U.S. president is still a human being and should be afforded the leisure and personal time to maintain some semblance of life balance. A happy president is surely a better president.
Also, there’s some truth to the trope that business often gets done on the golf course.
Then there’s President Donald Trump’s relationship with golf.
Trump, who just spent 10 days at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., has reportedly spent almost one-third of his time in office at his resorts. It’s an issue that raises obvious ethical questions about Trump using his office to promote his own businesses.
The White House has remained mostly silent about how Trump spends his time at his golf resorts and with whom he golfs when he does hit the links, leaving infrequent details to come from social media or rare glimpses that reporters are afforded.
His latest outing, in which he reportedly golfed for seven straight days after tweeting on Christmas about getting “back to work,” prompted the following response from White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday.
Press Sec. Sanders: Pres. Trump has used golf to develop "deeper and better relationships with members of Congress…we've had an extremely successful 2017, and some of that's due to the relationship building he was able to do there." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/nzUUVH5c6g
— ABC News (@ABC) January 2, 2018
“I think it’s the press that has an issue with his time on his course,” Sanders said. “The president’s extremely proud of the accomplishments we had during 2017.”
Sanders went on to tout the White House’s dubious narrative of “one of the most successful first years in office” while refusing to address a lack of transparency about how the most powerful man in the world holding a democratically elected office spends so much of his time.
Trump’s proliferous golf habit is made the more laughable in the context of his constant criticism of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, who golfed less frequently and did not hide from the American public when he did.
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
It’s a strategy he carried on the campaign trail in 2016.
While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2016
It would all be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.
Jason Owens is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter.