White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended President Trump’s time spent on the golf course, saying he has used it to develop “deeper and better relationships with members of Congress.”
“Those relationships have helped push forward the president’s agenda, specifically when it comes to helping get the tax reform and tax cuts passed,” Sanders said Tuesday during the White House press briefing. “A lot of that, I think, and the success of that came from strong relationships that the president has had, and he’s played golf with a number of senators and used that time certainly to accomplish that.”
Since his inauguration, Trump has visited his golf clubs 91 times, according to a tracker from NBC News. He returned to Washington on Monday after spending the Christmas holiday at Mar-a-Lago, his property in Palm Beach, Fla., and during his trip, Trump spent several days golfing at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Trump frequently criticized former President Barack Obama for spending time on the links.
Sanders, though, said many of Trump’s successes during his first year in office, such as the gains against the Islamic State and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, can be attributed to the bonds he’s forged with others while golfing.
“I think we've had an extremely successful 2017,” she said. “And some of that is due to the relationship-building that he was able to do there.”
Sanders also said she believes it’s the media that has an issue with the amount of time Trump has spent on the golf course.