While President Donald Trump hit his Florida golf course with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump engaged Abe’s wife in a perhaps more educational activity.
Melania Trump and Akie Abe left the president’s Mar-a-Lago mansion for an afternoon at the nearby Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, a Gilded Age mansion and Palm Beach landmark.
On a tour with the museum’s director, the two women learned about Whitehall, a 100,000-square-foot mansion that industrialist Henry Flagler built for his third wife. During the early 1900s, it helped put Palm Beach on the map as a destination for the rich.
“I enjoyed showing Mrs. Abe a timeless part of Florida’s history,” Melania Trump said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Thank you to the welcoming staff of the Flagler Museum for having us and for continuing to share Whitehall’s historic influence."
During the 40-minute tour, the first lady and Akie Abe also got acquainted with Flagler’s private car, called Railcar No. 91, and wicker wheelchairs that the wealthy used to get around Palm Beach in the early 1900s.
Meanwhile, the president partook in his favorite pastime with the prime minister at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. Both are avid golfers, and the president started his Asia work trip last year by playing rounds with Shinzo Abe in Japan.
Ahead of the prime minister’s visit, which is to focus on peace talks with North Korea and trade sanctions, the White House said golf was not on the “official schedule.” But in a briefing Tuesday afternoon, Trump admitted, “We're going to sneak out tomorrow morning and play a round of golf, if possible, if we have the time.”
The two couples went on a “friendship walk” around Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, when the Abes arrived for a two-day summit.
"We are getting a lot of things done," the president said during the walk. "A lot of great things between our two countries."
Trump has been criticized for playing golf at times when the U.S. faces pressing national and international matters, particularly because he had bashed his predecessors, including Barack Obama, for what he saw as frequent outings on the links.
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