a 17-day break.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump — who once questioned the wisdom of taking vacations — is getting ready to join the annual August exodus from the city he calls “the swamp.”
Trump today will begin his first extended vacation from Washington since his inauguration. He plans to spend 17 days at his private golf club in central New Jersey.
The vacation is driven in part by necessity. Everyone who works in the White House West Wing, including the president, must clear out by the end of the week so the government can replace a balky, 27-year-old heating-and-cooling system.
The White House hasn’t been answering questions about the president’s August plans. Asked whether Trump would leave Washington this month, White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday: “We’ll continue to keep you guys updated on his August schedule as those details are finalized.”
Although presidents have long taken vacations to escape Washington’s summer heat, Trump in the past has expressed his disdain for taking vacations at all, even though he has spent several weekends away from the White House since assuming the presidency.
“Don’t take vacations. What’s the point? If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re in the wrong job,” Trump wrote in his 2004 book, Trump: Think Like a Billionaire.
So far, Trump has spent 13 of 28 weekends while in office away from the White House, mostly at his properties in Palm Beach, Fla., or in Bedminster, N.J., according to an Associated Press count. The figures include a weekend during official travel overseas, and Father’s Day weekend at Camp David, the government-owned presidential retreat in Maryland.
Trump told Larry King in an interview — also in 2004 — that “most of the people I know that are successful really don’t take vacations. Their business is their vacation. I rarely leave. You know that. You and I are friends. How often do you see me going away?”