Trump be­gins 17-day va­ca­tion as Wash­ing­ton trou­bles brew

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Don­ald Trump, who once asked “what’s the point” of va­ca­tions and of­ten ad­mon­ished his pres­i­den­tial pre­de­ces­sor for tak­ing them while in of­fice, em­barked Fri­day on a 17-day hol­i­day to one of his golf re­sorts. Ar­riv­ing in Bed­min­ster, New Jer­sey for an ex­tended break, the pres­i­dent left be­hind a cap­i­tal grap­pling with a Rus­sia scan­dal and buf­feted by ex­tra­or­di­nary leaks from gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

He has also failed to seize any ma­jor leg­isla­tive vic­to­ries in his first seven months in of­fice, and is at odds with sev­eral Repub­li­can law­mak­ers on mul­ti­ple fronts. The White House said Trump’s Bed­min­ster stay would be a “work­ing va­ca­tion,” and cited sched­uled up­grades of the West Wing’s creaky heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem dur­ing the steamy Wash­ing­ton sum­mer as a rea­son why Trump was leav­ing town. “The Pres­i­dent will con­tinue to work over the next two weeks,” said White House spokes­woman Lind­say Wal­ters.

A pres­i­dent tak­ing time off from a hec­tic sched­ule is noth­ing new. But Trump’s down time is in the spot­light largely be­cause of his re­lent­less crit­i­cism of Barack Obama’s breaks from the White House. He ripped into Obama in 2011 for play­ing golf and then head­ing to a 10-day va­ca­tion in Martha’s Vine­yard. “Nice work ethic,” Trump tweeted at the time. “Pres. Obama is about to em­bark on a 17 day va­ca­tion in his ‘na­tive’ Hawaii, putting Se­cret Ser­vice away from fam­i­lies on Christ­mas. Aloha!,” Trump posted two years later. Not only did Trump at­tack Obama, he rou­tinely told sup­port­ers he would es­chew time off if he were elected be­cause he would be swamped with work. “I would not be a pres­i­dent who took va­ca­tions,” he said in 2015. “I would not be a pres­i­dent that takes time off.”

In late 2012 he tweeted his own ap­par­ent aver­sion to va­ca­tions: “What’s the point? If you’re not en­joy­ing your work, you’re in the wrong job.” De­spite his com­ments, Trump has taken con­sid­er­ably more time off than Obama in their re­spec­tive first seven months in of­fice. Ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post tally, by the end of Au­gust Trump will have spent all or part of 53 days at leisure dur­ing his pres­i­dency, com­pared with 15 days for Obama through Au­gust 2009.

Much of Trump’s time off took place at prop­er­ties bear­ing his name. At the height of ne­go­ti­a­tions over health care re­form, Trump chided law­mak­ers by say­ing he could not imag­ine “that Congress would dare to leave Wash­ing­ton” with­out send­ing a new health care bill to his desk. Trump ul­ti­mately failed to suc­cess­fully bro­ker a deal, the Repub­li­can health care re­forms col­lapsed, and Congress shut­tered Thurs­day for its month-long sum­mer re­cess.

WASH­ING­TON: In this Jan 28, 2017 file photo, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Min­is­ter of Aus­tralia Mal­colm Turn­bull in the Oval Of­fice of the White House. —AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.