WASHINGTON — During her daily briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders suggested playing golf helped President Trump have “one of the most successful first years in office” in 2017.
Trump celebrated the new year with a game of golf at his course in Florida on Monday. Since taking office last Jan. 20, Trump has visited golf courses 91 times and played on the majority of those trips. Sean Spicer, Sanders’s predecessor, told reporters in March that Trump used his time on the golf course productively, implying a contrast to former President Obama.
Yahoo News asked Sanders to identify the biggest thing the president accomplished for the American people while golfing in 2017.
“I think it would certainly be developing deeper and better relationships with members of Congress in which those relationships have helped push forward the president’s agenda, specifically when it comes to helping get the tax reform and tax cuts passed. A lot of that, I think, and the success of that came from the strong relationships that the president has,” Sanders said.
Sanders emphasized the golf games Trump has played with members of the Senate.
“He’s played golf with a number of senators and used that time certainly to accomplish that,” she said.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump repeatedly promised he would be too busy to play golf if he was elected.
“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said at an event in August 2016.
If Trump serves two terms and keeps up his pace of golfing, he will have played more than 700 rounds by 2025, about twice as many as Obama did during his eight years in the White House.
Spicer had told reporters there is a difference between how Trump and Obama “use the game of golf.”
“You saw him utilize this as an 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 of Trump. “How you use the game of golf is something that he’s talked about.”
As president, Trump has golfed with Abe and members of Congress, including Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Trump’s partners for presidential golf games have also…