Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dodged questions Friday on why President Donald Trump was spending the weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club if he wanted to save taxpayer dollars.
Trump tweeted Friday morning that he was saving taxpayers money by spending the weekend in Bedminster rather than New York City. The Washington Post’s Abby Phillip asked Sanders during the White House’s daily press briefing why the President didn’t just stay in Washington, D.C. to do his work.
“Well look, this is the President’s first time to be back in the New York metro area, and he’s staying in his private residence in New Jersey versus staying in Manhattan,” Sanders responded. “Had he stayed in Manhattan, the disruption would have been far greater than being in New Jersey. The bottom line is the President is the President no matter where he goes, and he doesn’t get to control the level of costs and security that may come along with that.”
“He does control where he works,” Phillip said. “Why doesn’t he work more from the White House? He’s spent the last maybe 14 weekends—”
“You guys complain we work too much around here and that you’re too tired and now we don’t work enough?” Sanders interjected jokingly.
“For the purposes of cost and savings to American taxpayers, which he raised this morning,” Phillip replied.
Sanders again sidestepped the costs of Trump’s near-constant weekend trips to his members-only clubs.
“Again, this was the President’s first time to go back home to the New York metro area, and I think he’s trying to save the taxpayers money the best way he can by taking his team and — focused on being in New Jersey instead of in New York where it would have caused a much greater disruption and much greater cost to taxpayers,” she said.