Donald Trump finally unlatched his hand from French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday and returned stateside, flying Air Force One directly to Trump National golf course in New Jersey and joining attendees at the U.S. Women’s Open for a few rounds of the ol’ ball-hole, as I call it.
According to ESPN, Trump’s arrival created such a disturbance that crowds were asked to keep quiet, which I assume is not that common at golf tournaments but what the hell do I know. Security was also a major concern, and precautions included bomb-sniffing dogs, military personnel, Secret Service agents and even control of the airspace above: A wayward prop plane was escorted out of the area by a military helicopter after it found itself in a restricted zone.
Along with supporters, Trump’s presence also drew a number of protesters angry that the U.S. Golf Association, which operates the U.S Open, decided not to move the tournament to a different property in light of Trump’s demonstrable sexism. Additionally, at least four U.S. senators called for the venue to be switched, citing Trump’s “pattern of degrading and dehumanizing women.”
The USGA was unmoved, however, saying in a statement that “the USGA is a golf organization, and we make decisions about where to play based, first and foremost, on the quality of the golf course, as well as the competition, fan experience, and overall operations.”
NBC points out that of Trump’s 176 days in office, 53 of them have been spent at his own properties, 39 of which have been at his golf properties.
Update, 8:03 p.m.: A reader pointed out that U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis told members of the USGA’s executive committee that Trump threatened to sue if the organization moved the tournament away from his golf club. According to USA Today:
Davis informed the USGA executive committee about Trump’s threat on a conference call about two years ago, just as Trump was beginning his successful campaign for president, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the USGA has not publicly discussed the matter.
Davis, who told the group he and other USGA officials had met with Trump, told the executive committee, “We can’t get out of this. He’s going to sue us,” according to the person.
How surprised are we? Zero surprised.