Trump begins 17-day vacation

US President Donald Trump has taken considerably more time off than former president Barack Obama in their respective first seven months in office. Photo: AFP / Andy Buchanan

BEDMINSTER - Donald Trump, who once asked "what's the point" of vacations and often admonished his presidential predecessor for taking them while in office, embarked on a 17-day holiday to one of his golf resorts.

Arriving in Bedminster, New Jersey for an extended break, the president left behind a capital grappling with a Russia scandal and buffeted by extraordinary leaks from government officials.

Trump even managed to crash a wedding.

"The President will continue to work over the next two weeks," said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

A president taking time off from a hectic schedule is nothing new. But Trump's down time is in the spotlight largely because of his relentless criticism of Barack Obama's breaks from the White House.

He ripped into Obama in 2011 for playing golf and then heading to a 10-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard. "Nice work ethic," Trump tweeted at the time.

Not only did Trump attack Obama, he routinely told supporters he would eschew time off if he were elected because he would be swamped with work.

"I would not be a president who took vacations," he said in 2015. "I would not be a president that takes time off."

Despite his comments, Trump has taken considerably more time off than Obama in their respective first seven months in office.

According to a Washington Post tally, by the end of August Trump will have spent all or part of 53 days at leisure during his presidency, compared with 15 days for Obama through August 2009.

Much of Trump's time off took place at properties bearing his name.


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