Once, Trump blasted Obama's golf outings. Now, White House defends his own

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Monday afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer won the dumbest response of the day when he argued that Trump's trips to the golf course - unlike Obama's - were a-okay because Trump used his leisure time to advance US relations on the green. Only one time - while hosting Abe - did the President also visit Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

"I love golf, I think it's one of the greats, but I don't have time", then-President-elect Trump said during a December 2016 rally in MI. He dismissed Carter Page, an informal foreign policy adviser to Trump, and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, as "hangers on". "I'm not going to have time to go play golf".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended Trump's golfing, saying the president has used the outings not just for personal pleasure but to do business, pointing to his outing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, on February 11.

Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign in March 2016 to lead the delegate operation on the floor of the Republican National Committee in Cleveland. He was forced to resign last month after misrepresenting his contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington.

Months ago when the idea of Trump being our president was still a distant possibility, the nominee himself said while sitting next to Governor Chris Christie that he couldn't understand how a president would even leave the White House.

"It's the same reason he can have lunch or dinner with somebody", Spicer told reporters at the White House.

The press secretary said there was a "big difference" between the investigations into Trump's wiretapping claim and the one into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

"The President is entitled to a bit of privacy at some point", he said.

He added: "So you can continue to look for something - but [you're] continuing to look for something that doesn't exist, doesn't matter".

Questioned later during briefing about his characterization of Manafort's work and the possibility that he may have had contact with Russian Federation due to his prior lobbying work in Ukraine, Spicer said he wasn't "looking to re-litigate the election".

Spicer was asked Monday at a White House press conference how Trump's golf playing is "any different", from Obama's.

Even some members of Trump's own party have encouraged the president to apologize to Obama.

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