In just 81 days in office, Donald Trump spent 26 percent of the time (21 days) at his Mar-a-Lago private estate in Palm, Beach, Florida, golfing. And the entire deal cost U.S. taxpayers $21.6 million. If Trump continues at this pace, he will have more “extracurricular expenses” in his first year in office than the Obamas had in eight years.
The GOP and Trump’s Hypocrisy
The situation is at odds with the GOP’s rhetoric centered on “fiscal responsibility” and Trump’s repeated swings at Obama over his habit of hitting the links. On Monday, CNN’s Don Lemon tried to discuss the indefensible hypocrisy of the situation with four panelists, but his conservative guests still attempted to defend Trump.
The laughable attempt was met with bursts of laughter from the other guests, with Lemon himself making considerable efforts to keep a straight face. However, conservative commentators Kayleigh McEnany and Ben Ferguson didn’t back down and tried to give an explanation to the glaring contradiction.
Lemon started by saying that Trump’s golfing trips have so far cost the U.S. taxpayers $21.6 million.
Just for pure numbers sake, in the first 81 days of office, President Obama went to the golf course zero times,
one of the panelists, Bakari Sellers, intervened.
Sellers underlined that the numbers show a total lack of fiscal accountability. Lemon agreed and recalled that there is a clear hypocrisy in Trump’s stance on his predecessor’s golfing habits, and anyone denying that hypocrisy is either blind or doesn’t want to see it.
Conservative Panelists Refuse to See the Numbers
Lemon allowed both McEnany and Ferguson to come with solid arguments to back their claims but all they did was to talk about anything but Trump’s golfing getaways. McEnany tried to divert the attention to the fact that liberals too were hypocritical about the Syrian crisis, while Ferguson tried to build a case around how Trump is building relationships with foreign leaders while on the links.
When Lemon asked Ferguson why Trump cannot do that in Washington, D.C., the conservative panelist replied that Palm Beach had better weather. Lemon reminded him that this weakened, temperatures in the nation’s capital were in the 50’s.
After showing the recordings of the numerous times Trump said Obama golfed too much and pledged not to follow suit, Lemon pointed out that his guests keep saying that Trump is not hypocritical even when they have the evidence right in their faces.
You can’t even acknowledge it and you have no credibility when you do that,
In 2013, Trump tweeted that Obama was too busy staying on the golf course than talking with Congress about Syria. In 2014, Trump accused Obama of exaggerating with traveling so he can “fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf”.
The former president played 333 rounds of golf, many of which were at the courses near the White House. Trump instead prefers to hit the golf course at his private golf club in Palm Beach, which makes the costs much more expensive. Obama spent $97 million on travel expenses over his eight-year presidency or about $12.1 million per year. If Trump keeps up, he will outspend Obama’s entire travel tab in just one year in office.
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