President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday morning that he will be attending the U.S. Women’s Open now underway at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump had been in France as part of that nation’s Bastille Day celebrations.
Left Paris for U.S.A. Will be heading to New Jersey and attending the#USWomensOpen, their most important tournament, this afternoon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
“Left Paris for U.S.A.,” Trump tweeted. “Will be heading to New Jersey and attending the #USWomensOpen, their most important tournament, this afternoon.”
Trump is the first sitting president to attend a U.S. Women’s Open, per GolfWeek. Three sitting presidents have attended a men’s U.S. Open: Warren Harding, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton. (It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, that no president prior to Trump has ever owned a golf club at which a major was played.)
Trump’s arrival at the Women’s Open, like so much else in the Trump presidency, comes freighted with controversy, rage and angst. The USGA awarded the Trump National Golf Club the U.S. Women’s Open in 2012, but the venue didn’t draw controversy until Trump began his campaign for president in 2015, kicking off a scorched-earth 18-month run that saw the then-candidate insult an entire rainbow of minority groups and prompted the revelation of old tapes in which Trump bragged of his intent toward sexual assault. Earlier in the week, USA Today reported that the USGA feared a lawsuit from Trump had it moved the tournament from Bedminster.
Plus, there’s the simple fact that Trump is spending yet another weekend at one of his golf properties. Per NBC News’ tracker, of his 175 days in office, Trump has spent 51 days at a Trump property and 37 days at a Trump golf property.
The USGA had sought to keep this event purely focused on golf, but Trump’s past actions made that impossible; many questioned how an organization that seeks to build the game among women could partner up with someone with a history of implied sexual assault. Players tried to evade the controversy, saying they were focused more on golf, but the simple fact is that Trump’s presence turns any event into one that runs through Trump himself. That will be the case this weekend, as well.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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