Donald Trump takes 12th golf trip since becoming President nine weeks ago

The US President criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for playing the game

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The Independent US

Donald Trump has this weekend taken his twelfth golfing holiday since his presidential inauguration just over nine weeks ago.

Departing the White House for the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, it is unclear whether he plans to do anything other than tee off.  

The White House has made no comment regarding the trip, which the US leader's eighth consecutive weekend visit to a Trump-owned property, according to NBC News. 

A weekend trip to his luxury resort at Mar-e-Largo is said to cost around $3 million (£2.4 million), according to an analysis by the Politico website. The Trump National Golf Club has the advantage of being located just outside Washington DC but the costs associated with any Presidential travel are significant.

Critics say that if the President were to cut back on his weekend excursions, the administration might not have to impose swingeing cuts to arts and social security budget.

Asked whether Mr Trump might consider reducing his weekend trips to save taxpayer money, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that “presidents always travel." 

He added that “the President will continue to go and travel around the country and have meetings to solve the nation’s problems”.

Sean Spicer: Less trips for Trump to Mar-A-Lago to save taxpayer money is "a vast reach"

Mr Spicer also suggested that “just because he heads there" doesn't mean that Trump is necessarily golfing at the resort.

Before his inauguration, Mr Trump regularly criticised Barack Obama for playing golf while holding Presidential office.

“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the US, President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter,” he tweeted in October 2014.

The previous month he wrote: "Can you believe we still have not gotten our Marine out of Mexico. He sits in prison while our PRESIDENT plays golf and makes bad decisions!"

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

* Update. An earlier version of this article referred to the President's weekend trips each costing around $3m. This figure, arrived at by an analysis by Politico, refers only to trips to the Mar-e-Largo resort in Florida. The Trump National Golf Course is located just outside Washington DC and the costs associated with travelling there are therefore lower. 20/4/17