President ‘returns to golf course’ as Republican anger grows over his refusal to sign bill

Matt Mathers and Graeme Massie
·2-min read
US president Donald Trump (REUTERS)
US president Donald Trump (REUTERS)

President Donald Trump is reportedly back playing golf as Republican anger continues to grow over his refusal to sign off on a $900bn Covid relief package.

It comes just hours after unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic expired, plunging the livelihoods of people across the country into further uncertainty.

Mr Trump has been roundly condemned for refusing to green-light the package, which took a bitterly divided Congress months to agree.

And much of the discontent is coming from those within the president’s own party. Maryland governor, Larry Hogan, and Pennsylvania senator, Pat Toomey, are just two GOP lawmakers calling on the president to release the vital funds.

But Mr Trump is demanding that direct payments to Americans are increased from $600 to $2,000. He called for “increased payments to the people”, urging his colleagues to “get rid of the ‘pork’” from the legislation, which he has criticised for paying out aid to foreign countries.

Sunday's round of golf is the second in a matter of days. Mr Trump spent Christmas Day on the fairways with South Carolina's Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham.

The president devoted some of his post-Christmas Day holiday to pushing yet more baseless claims about voter fraud at the election — a clear sign that he has no intention of throwing in the towel as the New Year approaches.

“The proof is irrefutable!” he said as he called on Senate Republicans to back his efforts to overturn the election result. “Massive late-night mail-in ballot drops in swing states, stuffing the ballot boxes (on video), double voters, dead voters."

But his baseless voter fraud claims have lost support from his once-favourite news network, Fox News.

Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera launched a withering attack on the defeated president. “Sadly he lost a bitterly contested election,” Rivera tweeted. “However since he has behaved like an entitled frat boy.”

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