A new report by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman looked into the strange juxtaposition of President Donald Trump’s time on the golf course and his official presidential duties during his Christmas holiday.
“The days were generally marked by casual-wear trips to his nearby golf club, where he would talk with members and meet with White House advisers. The evenings were marked by elaborate dinners at Mar-a-Lago that included his family members, his campaign advisers and his national security aides,” wrote Haberman.
Unlike past holiday vacations, Trump is now under an impeachment investigation.
“Throughout Christmas week, the president watched the news coverage on impeachment and tweeted his frustrations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi for slowing down the process by refusing to send to the Senate the articles charging him with high crimes and misdemeanors,” Haberman recalled. “He spoke with advisers about what the Senate trial might look like.”
After the holiday, Trump responded to a violent attack on a group of Jews at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York by yelling at cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder for not supporting him, said three people briefed on the call.
Lauder employees a pollster who also works for Michael Bloomberg, a Trump antagonist who just filed to run for president.
“Trump said that he had done more for Jews than any other president and that he could still lose the Jewish vote,” quoted Haberman. “The president never mentioned campaign contributions, but advisers and others briefed on the call said he left the clear impression that was referring to financial support.”
Trump spoke with aides who gave him options for how to respond to a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base. Pompeo advocated killing Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani, someone he’s wanted to take out for years, according to Reuters.
By Jan. 2, Trump had already decided he agreed with Pompeo, and the wheels were turning.
“In the middle of a meeting with campaign advisers, he left the table to give the final authorization to kill General Suleimani,” reported Haberman. “The president then returned, and, compartmentalizing what had just happened, resumed talking about the campaign.”
The White House refused to confirm the action for hours, but Trump was tweeting about it, leaving out specifics. He stayed glued to his television and Twitter searching for those who supported him. He also kept score of those who opposed him, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
It was Jared Kushner who finally was able to pressure the president to say something to the American people by Jan. 3. He then went to join evangelical Christians gathering in Miami so they could pray over him and announce that Trump was humble and never bragged about being perfect.
He then returned to Mar-a-Lago, where his cultish following was available to shake his hand and reach out to touch him.
It was less than 24 hours later that Trump landed back in Washington, D.C., where reality slapped him in the face with the start of his fourth year in office beginning under the weight of scandals and impeachment.