President Donald Trump poured rocket fuel on a couple of Twitter feuds Saturday morning before spending time at his Trump International Golf Club with Fox News host Sean Hannity, PGA Tour member Dustin Johnson, son Eric Trump and others.
Trump, who arrived Thursday to spend Easter weekend at Mar-a-Lago, limited his Twitter activity on Good Friday to the posting of a pre-recorded video to celebrate Passover and Easter. It proved to be the calm before the tweet-storm.
During a 12-minute Saturday morning ride from Mar-a-Lago to his golf club in unincorporated West Palm Beach, Trump fired off a pair of tweets escalating his criticism of Amazon.com and the “Fake Washington Post,” which are both owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos. The president then directed his Twitter ire at California Gov. Jerry Brown for pardoning five immigrants who faced possible deportation.
All three missiles were launched while the presidential motorcade rolled along Southern Boulevard in light traffic toward his golf course on Summit Boulevard.
Trump spent nearly seven hours at the golf club — arriving at 8:57 a.m. and leaving at 3:49 p.m.
Trump played the Jim Fazio-designed course in the morning and a crowd gathered on a veranda at the clubhouse around noon to watch him on the 18th hole, said former state Rep. Carl Domino, who was having lunch at the club. Trump appeared to be in good spirits and had his picture taken with several club members and their guests, Domino said.
“The president was in a very good mood. He seemed very, very happy,” said Larry Casey, a longtime Republican operative and international businessman who was a guest of Domino.
Casey later saw Hannity, who was wearing a golf shirt from The Breakers and had apparently joined Trump on the course for at least a few holes. Casey said Hannity told him the president played well Saturday.
Johnson, who played with Trump and Tiger Woods in November at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, was also at the course Saturday, and posed for an Instagram photo with one of the president’s grandchildren.
Trump’s morning tweets reprised long-running themes. He has criticized Amazon in the past, accusing the online retail giant of avoiding taxes and paying too little to the U.S. Postal Service to ship packages.
“This Post Office scam must stop,” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Trump also called The Washington Post a “lobbyist” for Amazon and said it should register with the federal government. The paper has reported extensively on Trump’s private business dealings and on Friday characterized his business empire as “under siege.”
On Saturday, The Washington Post called the president’s lobbying claim false and said Trump had “incorrectly conflated” the two Bezos-owned entities. “The (Washington) Post operates independently of Amazon,” wrote the paper’s White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker, in an article published within an hour of Trump’s tweets.
Trump’s Saturday criticism of Brown responded to the California governor’s Friday pardoning of five immigrants who had served their sentences but still had criminal records that could affect their immigration status. Trump and Brown have clashed in the past over the state’s lenient policies toward non-citizens, with the Department of Justice filing a lawsuit in March accusing California of blocking enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Trump, known for creating original nicknames to denigrate his opponents, used “Moonbeam” — a sobriquet coined by legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko — to tag Brown in Saturday’s tweet.
The White House late Saturday afternoon had not announced Trump’s plans for Easter. The president attended a church service with first lady Melania Trump last Easter at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. He is scheduled to return to Washington this afternoon.