Trump's rambling New York Times interview happened on the golf course while he was left unattended
Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Doral (screen grab)

A rambling New York Times interview showed Thursday what President Donald Trump really thinks of the Justice Department, that the Russia investigation makes the United States look bad and his need to distance himself from indicted Paul Manafort. But now it's being revealed how the interview came about in the first place.

While Trump spent his third day on the West Palm Beach golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Washington correspondent Michael Schmidt was wandering around the links himself.

"The unstaffed president of the United States, who likes to talk to reporters, bumped into the incomparable Michael Schmidt at one of his golf courses and did what he is always inclined to do -- talk for a half-hour on record. No staff," tweeted fellow Times reporter Maggie Haberman who once took Trump's phone calls to tell his side of the story.