President Donald Trump is spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, continuing a pattern that has created questions of conflicts of interest.
Trump began his day at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, then headed to his nearby golf club, according to a White House pool report. This marks his 85th day at a golf club and 111th day at a Trump-owned property since taking office, according to NBC News, which is among several news organizations that have tracked the president’s time visiting his golf clubs and hotels.
Trump has spent nearly one-third of his first year in office at a Trump-owned property, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, often at Mar-a-Lago or at his golf clubs in New Jersey and Virginia.
Ethics groups have raised concerns that Trump visiting his own properties creates the appearance that he’s promoting his private businesses while holding public office. Last week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from the ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which alleged that Trump’s properties were in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
Trump has used his properties for official government business, such as hosting state dinners for world leaders at Mar-a-Lago. He also hosted a re-election fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington earlier this year, and foreign diplomats have held events there to potentially curry favor with his administration.
Many of Trump’s visits to his properties have included playing golf, even though he used to chastise his predecessor, Barack Obama, for golfing while in office.
Unlike the Obama White House, the Trump administration has lacked transparency in regard to the president’s golf habits. Administration officials have sometimes refused to name the people with whom Trump played golf, or have refused to confirm whether he even played golf that day — even as visitors to his clubs have posted photos on social media showing the president on the course.
While en route to his golf club Tuesday, Trump’s motorcade passed “a lone protestor right outside the golf club, a woman holding a hand-made cardboard cut out of Trump’s face with the text ‘Pants on Fire,’” according to the White House pool report.
Before his golf outing, Trump began the day by firing off a few early morning tweets, including one falsely claiming that he has “essentially” repealed Obamacare “over time,” and one attacking the FBI as “TAINTED,” in response to a “Fox & Friends” segment.
Trump celebrated Christmas the previous day, tweeting that “tomorrow it’s back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!”