President Trump has been spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida playing a lot of golf. His partners on the fairway have included PGA tour members and politicians but on Friday, he invited members of the Coast Guard to play with him.
Before his game, Trump spoke to the assembled members of the media, telling them “this is for you guys,” he explained, “I said ‘would a couple people like to play golf?’ and I had about 50 people raise their hands and about 75 people showed up.” He then told the servicemen of the Coast Guard “today the course is yours — we closed the course … You’re going to have a little tournament and you’re going to determine who the best player is.”
Later, the president took an opportunity to throw a joke at the reporters, saying “the media is terrific–any sports media there? They’re going to have a little Coast Guard challenge.” He also patted himself on the back a bit, bragging about his own golfing game and pointing to the media before saying “they’ll say I got a triple bogie but I actually took a birdie.”
He finished by telling the servicemen, “the Coast Guard is fantastic” and praising the job they did following the Hurricane Irma.
The last few days have been hectic for the press pool that travels with the president, Trump has golfed almost every day for the last week and reporters have mostly been kept at a distance. On Friday, they were holed up in a library for five hours before they were finally allowed to go onto the course and film his photo-op with the Coast Guard servicemen. On Thursday, CNN found themselves in a bizarre moment when an unmarked van seemed to be deliberately blocking their camera while they were trying to film the president.
President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort may be the most luxurious in a portfolio of properties that are all world class. The initiation fee to the club is currently $200,000 (it went up after Trump was elected), but comes with the opportunity to catch a glance at the president while you’re eating. On Thursday night, Trump even bumped into a New York Times reporter at the dining room of one of his Florida resorts and gave a half-hour on-the-record interview.