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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Trump’s working vacation watched curiously by Americans

17-day getaway has become nothing short of a reality show

Share on Facebook August 9, 2017, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 407

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NEW JERSEY, U.S. - U.S. President Donald Trump’s 17-day getaway has become nothing short of a reality show for America that is watching its president’s moves closely and curiously. 

Trump, who is currently on day four of his ‘working vacation’ at the secluded New Jersey golf course has kept his Twitter account buzzing with views, announcements and comments; he has held several meetings with lawmakers, Cabinet officials and senior aides and has even made some big announcements.

The media too is watching the President’s first big ‘working vacation’ unfold, with cameras tracking the stream of top aides cycling in and out of the quiet Bedminster-based Trump National Golf Club.

The President’s close aides who have interacted with the media have said that Trump is set to have a lot of activity ongoing at the club over the next two weeks, including meetings on issues like healthcare and tax reform. 

On Monday, Trump reportedly began the day like he would a typical workday at the White House: with an intelligence briefing.

Along with his chief of staff, he then held a telephonic conversation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly, to discuss a new round of sanctions against North Korea.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to be briefed on the nation's opioid crisis by the Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

All the while, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who serve as senior advisers and his Chief of staff John Kelly have stayed on the property, holding multiple meetings with the president to discuss crises overseas.

Trump continues to receive updates from Deputy national security adviser Rick Waddell and his meetings are being planned by his staff secretary Rob Porter.

A White House official has also confirmed that Vice President Pence is planning to visit Trump for a day.

Meanwhile, members of the media and some Trump aides are staying about 12 miles away at a Marriott located in an office park in suburban Bridgewater.

So far, the press has been banned from the club grounds and the White House has not shared too many details with the prying press about the modifications made at the club, in the form of office space or meeting areas, to allow Trump to conduct business.

The White House has also refused to release a daily schedule of Trump’s activities and, unlike past presidents, it has also refused to say whether he is playing golf. 

A report in The Hill however revealed Deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters as saying that there are Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) set up at the club and the hotel for Trump and his team to receive classified intelligence briefings.

The media is also keen on finding out if Trump will meet with the now unpopular governor of New Jersey Chris Christie (R), who was a top ally during the President’s campaign, during his stay.

So far, the only photos and videos posted of Trump during his stay there have come through Instagram and Twitter, where he has been seen riding in a golf cart and glad-handing with club members and wedding guests.

Those photos have drawn some mockery as both Trump and the White House repeatedly insisted that this was going to be a vacation focused on work.

It also didn’t help the claim when the media dug out Trump old tweets, where he has, on many occasions attack his predecessor, President Barack Obama over his commitment to the job and his claim he wouldn’t take vacations as president.

Trump tweeted in 2012 during the former president’s winter getaway in Hawaii, “President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars-Unbelievable!” 

The year prior, he tweeted during Obama’s summer vacation, “Congress should get back to Washington, but @BarackObama doesn't want to interrupt his vacation in Martha's Vineyard.”

Political observers back in Washington believe that Trump would be wise to use his time in the club as an opportunity to recharge his batteries after a tumultuous six months in the White House.

Brandon Rottinghaus, a presidential historian at the University of Houston said, “All presidents needs to get vacations to get away from the grind like everyone else does,” adding he has little doubt Trump will spend time working.

Rottinghaus pointed out, “The fact is there is no exclusive vacation for a president where they can sit on the beach like an entire day like we do. The apparatus of government must continue, no matter where the president is. So when he is taking a working vacation, it means he is taking a working vacation.”

Rottinghaus has argued that criticism coming from the media, that Trump has gone on a Twitter tirade against during his stay, likely won’t go away unless the White House is able to show that Trump is working.

He said, “People need to see it. These images of the president are too powerful to counter with a list of things the president is doing that day.”

Meanwhile, reports also claim that Trump could pay a visit to another one of his favorite properties during his time off, most likely the Trump Tower in New York City.

Trump has previously said that he’s stayed away from his former home because it would disrupt New Yorkers’ lives.

 

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