Washington (AFP) - Opposition Democrats have long demanded Donald Trump scale back his weekend escapes to Florida. On Tuesday a Republican lawmaker joined the call for the US president to spend more time working in Washington.
"I've had those same concerns myself," Senator Joni Ernst told a town-hall meeting in Iowa when a constituent asked about Trump's taxpayer-funded trips to Mar-a-Lago, his members-only resort in Palm Beach.
"I do wish that he would spend more time in Washington, DC. That's what we have the White House for," she said, suggesting she was not alone among Republicans frustrated by Trump's frequent flying.
"That is something that I think has been bothering not just me but some other members of our caucus," Ernst said. "I think that is going to be a topic of discussion that we have when we get back to Washington."
US lawmakers are in the middle of a two-week recess.
Trump flew on Thursday to Palm Beach, where he spent three nights at Mar-a-Lago, away from journalists' prying eyes amid heightened tensions with North Korea.
He attended an Easter Sunday service at a local church and then flew back to Washington, but not before spending several hours Friday and Saturday at his nearby golf club. The White House declined to say whether he played golf.
Trump repeatedly assailed Democratic predecessor Barack Obama for golfing, and in 2011 blasted him as "the habitual vacationer."
Trump's latest outings were his 17th and 18th trips to a golf course since his January 20 inauguration, according to an NBC News tally. He has spent seven weekends at Mar-a-Lago in that period.
Obama waited more than three months after his inauguration to take his first presidential golf round.
Trump mixes business with pleasure at Mar-a-Lago. He has hosted foreign leaders there, including Chinese President Xi Jinping this month.
In February, three weeks into his presidency, he huddled at the estate with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in an open dining area, where club members could see the two world leaders in conversation shortly after North Korea tested a ballistic missile.