Trump claims New Jersey getaway is ‘not a vacation’The most important parenting lesson for my marriageBRIDGEWATER, N.J. – President Trump on Saturday claimed his 17-day getaway at his New Jersey golf club is „not a vacation.””Working in Bedminster, N.J., as long planned construction is being done at the White House. This is not a vacation – meetings and calls!” Trump tweeted.The president appeared to be responding to criticism for taking a vacation after repeatedly lambasting his predecessor, Barack Obama, for doing the same.CNN flashed an on-screen graphic Friday night over images of Air Force One that read „Vacation Critic Takes Time Off.”Trump’s vacation does coincide with renovations at the White House that are forcing his staff to temporarily vacate the West Wing, including the replacement of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.Other improvements that will be made to the White House during Trump’s vacation include work on the Navy mess kitchen, a restaurant in the West Wing run by the U.S. Navy, the building’s lower lobby, the information technology (IT) system and other „generic cosmetic upgrades.”White House social media director Dan Scavino shared a photo of the Oval Office being cleared out an hour after Trump departed the executive mansion for his trip to the Trump National Golf Club.Presidents routinely leave Washington for vacation during the summer months and Trump is no exception. But the White House has pushed back on the notion that Trump is truly taking time off, describing his trip as a „working vacation.”For the most part, Trump’s activities on Saturday were unclear. He received a briefing from chief of staff John Kelly on a U.S. military helicopter crash off the Australian coast. But the White House declined to say what else was on his schedule.A White House official said that over the next two weeks the president planned to meet with Kelly and other advisers as well as members of Congress.But the president also built in some time for leisure. He was filmedSaturday greeting wedding guests at his golf club, something he enjoys doing when he stops by his properties.One Instagram user also posted a photo of the president in a golf cart that had golf clubs in the back.While Trump’s defenders say he’s entitled to time off like any other president, his criticism of Obama’s vacation habits have fueled accusations of hypocrisy.”President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars-Unbelievable!” he tweeted in January 2012.Trump promised during the 2016 campaign he wouldn’t follow in Obama’s footsteps, comments that cable news networks have resurfaced on air in recent days.”I wouldn’t leave the White House very much because, you know, little things like these little trips where they get on,” he said last February at a stop in Louisiana. „They cost you a fortune.”
PoliticsDonald Trump fights back over his 17-day New Jersey break David Millward,The Telegraph 1 hour 20 minutes agoDonald Trump has hit back at critics over his plans to spend 17-days at his New Jersey golf club.Barack Obama was repeatedly lambasted by Republicans over the amount of time he spent swinging a golf club, having played 333 times during his two terms. But the current president’s enthusiasm for the sport seems to match that of his predecessor.Mr Trump’s decision to abandon the White House for more than a fortnight has led critics to question his work ethic and devotion to the job.The president’s aides have insisted that the trip is what they billed as a „working vacation”.Mr Trump entered the fray himself on Saturday evening, inevitably turning to Twitter to do so.He told his 35 million followers that he had left the White House to allow long planned building work to be carried out.Mr Trump added that his time at the club at Bedminster in rural New Jersey would be filled with meetings and calls.It is understood that one of the key tasks at the White House will be to replace the 27-year old heating and cooling system, finishing work which began under the previous administration.Those that remain in Washington will be redeployed to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, rather than being expected to remain in the West Wing without air-conditioning during the city’s sweltering summer.The South Portico steps are being renovated for the first time since 1953. The West Wing is being redecorated and recarpeted and even the Oval Office is being refurbished.White House requires repairs Credit: Joshua Roberts/ReutersMr Trump’s absence will be comparatively brief, unlike Harry Truman who spent nearly four years living in nearby Blair House while the crumbling official presidential residence underwent comprehensive renovation.It was while Mr Truman was in Blair House that two Puerto Rican nationalists mounted an unsuccessful assassination attempt in November 1950 – killing a White House police officer.With an extensive personal property portfolio – including an opulent apartment in Manhattan, an estate at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Bedminster golf club, the current president is not short of alternative accommodation.He also has the option of Camp David, the rustic official country retreat in Thurmont, Maryland, just over 60 miles outside Washington.However, in one interview Mr Trump said the winding country paths and bucolic nature of the place were not to his taste.There have been suggestions that Mr Trump has not been overly impressed by the White House.Golf.com claimed that he had even described the house that comes with the job as a „dump” – an accusation which he furiously denied on Twitter.
Trump staffer tweets photo of White House renovations kicking off: ‘West Wing is clearing out now’ DAVID CAPLAN,Good Morning America 17 hours ago Now that President Trump has left the White House and kicked off his 17-day getaway to his golf course in New Jersey, renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going full-steam ahead.Dan Scavino Jr., the president’s director of social media, tweeted on Friday a photo of an empty Oval Office with a step ladder near the fireplace.”Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse,” he captioned the photo. „One hour after Air Force One is wheels up??the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.”White House set for renovations as Trump takes first vacationTrump denies he called White House a ‘dump’As ABC News previously reported, the West Wing will be cleared out for several weeks for much-needed repairs.Work has already begun on White House grounds to replace the 27-year-old heating and cooling system, the second stage of a renovation that started under the Obama administration.Other work includes painting and new carpeting in the West Wing and refurbishments in the Oval Office. All of the renovations will be conducted by General Service Administration designers.Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to deny a golf.com report that while speaking with members at the Trump National Golf Club, he said the White House is a „dump.””I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” he tweeted. „But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE.”ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.