Trump defends golf outings while attacking London mayor

Image: Scotland Protests At The Visit Of United States President Donald Tru
President Donald Trump plays a round of golf at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort during his first official visit to the United Kingdom in Turnberry, Scotland on July 15, 2018. Copyright Leon Neal Getty Images file
Copyright Leon Neal Getty Images file
By Dareh Gregorian with NBC News Politics
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Mayor Sadiq Khan had criticized the president for canceling a trip to Europe because of Hurricane Dorian and then going golfing.


President Donald Trump defended his frequent golf outings at his various properties as "very inexpensive" and quick Tuesday after London's mayor criticized him for hitting the links while Hurricane Dorian threatened.

Mayor Sadiq Khan slammed Trump for canceling a trip to Poland in order to deal with hurricane preparations and then golfing on Saturday at his private Virginia club, telling Politico on Sunday, "He's clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course."

Trump, who sent Vice President Mike Pence to the country in his stead, responded Tuesday morning, shortly after Fox Business Network reported on Khan's remarks.

"The incompetent Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was bothered that I played a very fast round of golf yesterday. Many Pols exercise for hours, or travel for weeks. Me, I run through one of my courses (very inexpensive). President Obama would fly to Hawaii," Trump said in a pair of tweets that also blasted the "totally out of control" level of "knife crime" in London.

"He is a terrible mayor who should stay out of our business!"

Despite the president's claim that his round of golf was "very fast," Trump was at his club for about four and a half hours on Saturday and four hours on Monday.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters on Saturday that someone from FEMA was traveling with the president, and he was getting briefed "every hour" on the hurricane's path.

According toNBC's tracking data, Trump has spent a little under a third of the days of his presidency visiting his own properties. That includes 58 days at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Florida, and 90 days at his golf property in Bedminster, N.J., NBC analysis shows.

It's not clear if he's golfed on each day of those trips, because the White House generally declines to acknowledge if the president has golfed or not.

A HuffPost review of the price of the president's golf outings — which include travel and security costs — put the tab to taxpayers at more than $100 million as of May.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump routinely criticized then-President Barack Obama for going golfing and vowed to be a different kind of president.

"Because I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to play golf. Believe me," Trump told a Virginia crowd in August 2016.

Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor who's running for the Democratic presidential nomination, took aim at Trump's golfing at a campaign event on Monday.

"Well, unfortunately, every time we think there's a new low, we see it get lower," Buttigieg said. "As I recall, the president said he was remaining in the U.S. to deal with the emergency. Apparently his dealing with the emergency is to go golfing. But it would be nice for him to at least show some respect for the Americans who are currently fleeing for their lives from an evacuation zone."

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