Donald Trump is acting like a man with something to hide, and it's not just any potential collusion with Russia during the election. Nope, this time I'm talking about much darker and more twisted: the Trump administration's big golf cover-up.
Yep, I said it. With the world in chaos over various statements that the president has made (or not made), the man himself has been jetting off to play a fair amount of golf — and his aides are all being very hush-hush about it.
Their reasoning for not wanting to talk about it is probably pretty simple. Trump repeatedly took issue with Barack Obama's golf habit, in both tweets and campaign speeches. The trips were expensive, then-citizen Trump complained, and the president surely had better things to do. Now-president Trump, however, doesn't seem to have a problem with lavishly spending taxpayer money on golf trips, and he's also seems pretty okay with the golfing itself.
Since he took office, Trump has gone golfing at least six times. There are surely few private citizens who can say the same thing about themselves in the past month — or at least few beyond the one percent. And while I have not done this research myself, I feel pretty confident in saying that there must be even fewer who have gone golfing six times after criticizing their professional predecessors for doing the same thing, only less frequently.
Ahh, the sweet smell of hypocrisy. This isn't exactly a new thing for this administration, whether it's hypocrisy over cybersecurity or his promises to drain the swamp replaced with actions to refill it. But usually he either doesn't comment on things, or he brushes them off with a swish of his tiny little hands. So why is the administration being so cagey about his golf game? Not making time to play golf as president certainly can't be the biggest or most important campaign promise that Trump has broken (may I take this opportunity to remind you that Congress is now going to have to appropriate money for the wall that Mexico was supposedly paying for?).
According to VICE, a White House spokeswoman lied about the number of holes Trump had played with pro golfer Rory McIlroy, and only admitted that Trump had played a full 18 after a golf blog posted the information along with a picture. He also played a full round with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pro golfer Ernie Els, although he boasted about that one himself.
Overall, it's just a bizarre situation. I'm certainly not of the opinion that presidents shouldn't take time off to pursue hobbies that they find relaxing, whether it's golfing, jogging, shooting hoops, or whatever else. Everyone works best when relaxed, and exercise has proven benefits for the brain and the body.
On the other hand, I do have a problem with hypocrisy. Trump has now dug himself into a hole where he can't golf without being an absolute hypocrite. He had few ways of avoiding this — either not criticizing Obama for his golfing habit, or keeping his promise not to do it himself. He's definitely missed those opportunities, though, so now his aides have to try to cover up for him. He could even still make things a little better by making some comment about how he didn't foresee how difficult the job would be, and how golf has now become a total necessity — but that would be unlike him. Instead, Trump's just going to keep doing his thing and keep expecting people not to notice that he's breaking promises while he does it.