President Donald Trump appeared to be playing golf Saturday, just days before states on the southeast coast were set to be battered by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, which the National Hurrican Center has called catastrophic.
Official communications from the White House and statements from the president himself ahead of the weekend trip suggested that Trump would be spending his time at Camp David in Maryland monitoring and preparing for the storm.
According to press pool reports, however, Trump traveled to his Sterling, Virginia golf course Saturday morning by helicopter from Camp David. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham reportedly told reporters that someone from FEMA was briefing him on the hurricane every hour.
Trump departed the course at 2:40 PM, according to his schedule, and received his scheduled full briefing at Camp David when he returned.
The White House hasn’t explicitly acknowledged that Trump was playing golf or who his partners were during his visit to the club.
Video published by The Hill that is reportedly sourced from CNN footage appears to show Trump on the golf green Saturday. According to the text accompanying the original video, Trump can be seen a black cap, white shirt, and tan pants.
Hurricane Dorian is scheduled to approach the coast of the US late Monday and early Tuesday, with state officials ordering mandatory evacuations and states of emergency.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will oversee the federal preparations and response to the hurricane, despite the fact that the agency doesn’t have a Senate-confirmed leader. Deputy FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor is currently serving as the acting administrator of the agency following Brock Long’s resignation over his controversial use of government vehicles, according to Politico.
As concerns over the storm’s potential damage grew, Trump brushed off potential concerns with Gaynor’s experience ahead of the storm, telling reporters on Friday that “Acting gives you great flexibility that you don’t have with permanent.”
Gaynor reportedly accompanied Trump to Camp David to provide updates but it’s not clear whether or not he was present on the golf course with Trump.
According to Trump Golf Count, a website that tracks Trump’s golf trips, Trump has played golf 212 times while he has been president.
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