Politics

Critics Point Out The Costs Of The President Golfing (Photos)

| by Denise Recalde

First Lady Melania Trump appeared at a political event in Mar-a-Lago as her husband spent the weekend playing golf at one of his courses in Virginia. Some people were not happy with how the president spent his weekend.

Melania headlined the Republican fundraising event at Palm Beach on March 24, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The event was expected to raise in the neighborhood of $300,000.

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Palm Beach County GOP chairman Michael Barnett spent some $150,000 to rent the salon from Trump. About 700 tickets to the dinner event sold for at least $300 a piece, Daily Mail reports.  

While the first lady helped raise money for the party, her husband played gold at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. 

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According to The Denver Post, secret service agents are tasked with guarding the president's family at their multiple homes as well as when they travel, which is reported to be frequently.

"There was an anticipation of how stressful it was going to be on the agency, but the harsh reality is that the stress is just overwhelming," said Jonathan Wackrow, a Secret Service agent who has reportedly worked for the agency for 14 years. 

Even seasoned agents, Wackrow said, are having to cope with the tremendous pressure of the "monumental" task, which includes establishing high-security perimeters in Washington, Florida and New York, s well as protecting Trump's family members as they travel across the world. 

"It's a logistical nightmare," Wackrow said. He added that agents are "at severe risk of burnout, and the very last thing you want is to have your agents burnt out." 

Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, a representative for Palm Beach, said Mar-A-Lago is not a good location for a president's resort home. She pointed out the club rests on an exposed oceanfront on a busy, narrow island, where traffic problems are common. 

"Mar-a-Lago is no Camp David," Frankel said. "It's not set up with the intention or the forethought of keeping the president safe."

According to CNN, the president was a critic of former President Barack Obama going golfing when the latter was in power. He himself has gone golfing six of the last eight weekends. 

"I'm going to be working for you; I'm not going to have time to go play golf," Donald said in 2016 to a crowd in Virginia.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the president's golfing activities by stating that he once hosted the Japanese leader and utilized the sport to "foster deeper relations." 

"How you use the game of golf is something that he has talked about," Spicer said.

Sources: Daily Mail, Palm Beach PostCNN, The Denver Post / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons, Reuters, Instagram via Daily Mail

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