Donald Trump’s seventeen day golf vacation to New Jersey got underway today, weeks after the planned getaway had first been reported in the media. Trump has taken quite a bit of heat for the trip, both because he’s already spent around one-third of his time in office on vacation, and because he’s skipping town as his presidency is crumbling. Now, suddenly, the media has been flooded tonight with the excuse that Trump is only taking the vacation because of the White House air conditioning.
The story, which has appeared this evening in the New York Times (link) and elsewhere, is ridiculous on both its premise and its timing. While it does appear that the government is using Donald Trump’s seventeen day golf vacation as an opportunity to renovate the White House air conditioning and heating systems, the narrative is being presented as if Trump is only taking his vacation because the renovations forced him to. That’s absurd.
If it’s true that the White House air conditioning system is so desperately on its last legs that it requires immediate weeks-long repair, the Trump administration would seemingly have put this story out there as soon word leaked to the media about his seventeen day vacation. It would have served to counter the immediate bad press that Trump was getting for his planned trip. Because the story is only now just surfacing, it very much sounds like Trump decided to take this big trip simply because he wanted to, and then the maintenance crew decided to take advantage of his absence by doing these renovations.
In any case, Donald Trump is bailing out of Washington DC at the worst time possible for him. His approval rating is at an all time low, and members of own Republican Party in Congress have increasingly begun taking stances against him. What boss goes on a long vacation at a time when everyone in the company is trying to figure out how to get rid of him? The same boss, we suppose, who waits until after he leaves town to blame his vacation on a supposed maintenance emergency that none of his people ever previously thought to mention.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report