Donald Trump has reportedly spent more time playing golf than taking intelligence briefings since entering office.
The President, whose family company owns 17 golf courses around the world, criticised Barack Obama for his outings on the fairway when he was in the White House.
But Mr Trump has played at least six times since entering office a month ago, while his predecessors didn’t find time for golf until several months into their presidencies.
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Now, a Washington Post analysis of how the President has spent his time has estimated Mr Trump spent just six hours at intelligence briefings.
The analysis, based on White House pool reporting, is imperfect but is also the most informed independent estimate so far of how the President spends his time.
In contrast, Mr Trump’s golf time is believed to be more extensive. He is reported to have played on at least six occasions, and 18 holes on at least five occasions. For a 70-year-old man with a buggy and entourage, it is thought it would take at least four hours to complete an 18-hole game of golf, and possibly longer.
Since taking office, Mr Trump reportedly played golf on:
February 4 – 18 holes
February 5 – 18 holes
February 11 – 18 holes (with Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan)
February 12 – 18 holes (with Shinzo Abe)
February 18 – unknown
February 19 – 18 holes (with Rory McIlroy, pro golfer)
The White House initially said just “a few holes” were played by Mr Trump on 18 and 19 February, but this was later discredited by golfing blog No Laying Up which interviewed Mr McIlroy, who said he rode with Mr Trump for all 18 holes. Mr McIlroy added: “He probably shot around 80. He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70’s!”
The White House responded to the claims, saying: “He intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer. He also had a full day of meetings.”
Mr McIlroy later told The Guardian he was “intrigued” by American politics. “I’m just interested by the phenomenon of it all,” he said. “I don’t really care about the policies. The whole circus, this big show is intriguing to watch.”
The President frequently criticised his predecessor for playing golf, often on Twitter. In 2014, Mr Trump wrote: “Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter.”
According to the analysis, which also examined Mr Trump’s Twitter data, the Republican billionaire has also spent more than twice his time on the social media platform than he has in intelligence briefings.
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The President is understood to have an aversion to the briefings, which cover key national security issues.
In January, MSNBC quoted him as saying of intelligence documents: “I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you.”