President Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump arrive together on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend part of the weekend at Mar-a-Lago resort on March 17, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
By Maya Rhodan
March 20, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended President Trump’s golf outings — saying he does more than hit balls during his frequent trips.

When a reporter pointed out Trump’s criticisms of former President Barack Obama golfing habit, Spicer putted back at him citing the President’s recent meeting he had on the golf course with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“You saw him utilize this as opportunity with Prime Minister Abe to help foster deeper relationships in Asia and have a growing relationship that’s going to help U.S. interests,” Spicer said. “How you use the game of golf is something that he’s talked about.”

The press secretary also argued the president has not always participated in the rounds while at the golf course. Spicer said the President recently held a “mini cabinet meeting” at his club in Virginia.

“On a couple of occasions he’s actually conducted meetings there, he’s actually had phone calls, so just because he heads there doesn’t mean that that’s what’s happening,” Spicer said.

In the first eight weeks of his presidency, Trump has made at least 10 trips to the golf course.

On the president’s most recent trip to the links, the White House told the press pool that he was taking meetings and calls at the club, only to admit he may have “hit a few balls” after a photo of him wearing a golf glove was released on Twitter.

Spicer said there aren’t more detailed readouts of Trump’s meetings and productivity on the golf course because Trump is “entitled to a bit of privacy.”

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