You can’t beat a good holiday can you? Well, unless you happen to be US president Donald J Trump in which case you might not bother at all.
Famed for his controversial opinions on many popular subjects, even the most ardent Trump fans might find his feelings on vacations difficult to understand.
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First of all, in his book, Trump: Think Like A Billionaire the president declared his distaste for vacations, writing the words:
Don’t take vacations. What’s the point? If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re in the wrong job.
In an interview with Larry King later in 2004 he continued to discuss his distaste for holidays:
Most of the people I know that are successful really don’t take vacations. Their business is their vacation. I rarely leave. You know that. You and I are friends. How often do you see me going away?
It’s a well-respected tradition that presidents and White House staff take holidays, usually in August but many wondered what Trump would do when the month rolled around, especially considering his objection to his predecessor’s holidays:
@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Nice work ethic.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2011
In the lead-up to his own election, Trump said he would not be taking many holidays:
I’d rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done. I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off. You don’t have time to take time off.
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But alas, as with so many other issues, Trump has made a direct U-turn and according to the Associated Press, he’ll be taking an extended 17 days holiday away from the White House to spend time at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump’s holiday comes at a convenient time as the government told all staff and of the White House’s West Wing, including the President, to vacate the building.
It seems the 27-year-old heating and air-conditioning system needs to be replaced.
Still, according to recent news, Trump will be thrilled to leave the White House as, according to reports from Golf.com, Trump took the time out of his day to tell members at his club that the White House is ‘a real dump’. Trump himself has strenuously denied the allegations:
I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2017
One might question why any journalist would ever bother to construct a story so patently bizarre. Then again, that’s how the ‘fake news’ operates according to the president.
Of course, one source that definitely isn’t fake news (at least according to Trump) is the president’s Twitter account. Here are a few times Trump has written about taking holidays:
Pres. Obama is about to embark on a 17 day vacation in his ‘native’ Hawaii, putting Secret Service away from families on Christmas. Aloha!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2013
President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014
We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
Trump is yet to publicly address his holiday, but members of Congress will no doubt be unhappy after just last month he ordered senators to stay in Washington over their August recess to finalise a deal on healthcare.
This holiday is Trump’s first extended break away from the White House but he travels away frequently.
On the contrary, of his 28 weekends as president, Trump has spent 13 away visiting his various resorts and golf clubs around the country.
The trips are estimated to have cost American taxpayers no less than $20m dollars in just six months.
Compared to Obama whose holiday expenses cost $97m in eight years, it’s clear to see that Trump’s mini-breaks are becoming a massive liability.
Still, will Trump’s holiday affect his popularity?
If his talk about ‘groping’ women and his plans to take healthcare from an estimated 22m Americans (according to the Congressional Budget Office) couldn’t convince Americans to stop cheering him on, it’s seems unlikely his holiday hypocrisy will either.