âWorking hard from New Jersey while White House goes through long planned renovation,â Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. âGoing to New York next week for more meetings.â
His staff is eager to schedule more meetings and public announcements or statements. For one thing, they want to show the public that Mr. Trump is still working hard, just as White House officials did during other presidentsâ vacations. For another, they want to make sure he is kept as busy as possible, understanding that an idle president has a way of creating trouble.
So far, though, it has been a vacation out of the public eye. Mr. Trump arrived Friday evening along with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner; Mr. Kelly; and other White House aides. He has not been seen publicly since. He reportedly dropped by to greet a wedding party at the club over the weekend, but the journalists in the pool assigned to cover him have not been allowed to set foot on the property, nor have they laid eyes on him since Friday.
With driving rain on Monday making golf unappealing, it remained unclear what the president did to enjoy himself. Other presidents, including Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, brought stacks of books with them on vacation, dutifully reported by aides. Mr. Trump is not known as much of a book reader. Mr. Bush loved clearing brush and bicycling on his ranch, while Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama liked to play cards. Mr. Trump is not often spotted with a chain saw or a deck of cards.
CNN cheekily contrasted Mr. Trumpâs vacation with that of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, who was shown fishing bare chested in Siberia. Mr. Trump is not much of a fisherman nor does he often take his shirt off in public.
He does watch cable television. Around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, went on CNN to talk about the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Mr. Trumpâs associates and Russia during and after last yearâs election. Mr. Trump presumably was watching, because about 15 minutes later he was flaming Mr. Blumenthal.
âInteresting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!â he wrote on Twitter. âNever in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?â
Mr. Blumenthal received at least five deferments from military service during the Vietnam War era and then went into the Marine Reserve, where he served in a unit in Washington. But as a politician, he referred to himself as having âserved in Vietnamâ or âserved during the Vietnam era.â The New York Times article exposing these false statements in 2010 did not, however, report that he had told stories about Vietnam battles or conquests, nor that he had cried when exposed. Mr. Trump received five deferments from the draft: four for college and one for bad feet.
Mr. Blumenthal responded, using Mr. Trumpâs own favorite medium. âMr. President: Your bullying hasnât worked before and it wonât work now. No one is above the law,â he wrote on Twitter. âThis issue isnât about me â itâs about the Special Counselâs independence and integrity.â
Mr. Trump was still stewing about it nine hours later. âI think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there,â he wrote on Twitter.
All told, Mr. Trump blasted out 13 Twitter posts before dinner, going after other favorite targets as well, including the âfailingâ New York Times. As often happens, his posts included false assertions. He said that The Times had apologized for its coverage of the election last year. (It did not.) And he said the newspaper has âbig losses.â (Revenue was up 9 percent in the last quarter.)
In a statement from a spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades Ha, The Times called Mr. Trumpâs claims âincorrectâ and noted that the newspaper has 3.3 million paid subscriptions â its most ever â and growing profit, income and revenues. âNYTâs business is thriving,â The Times said on Twitter.
Mr. Trump complained that the âFake News Mediaâ was not paying enough attention to the United Nations Security Council vote to add more sanctions against North Korea, and he grumbled that he was not getting sufficient credit for the accomplishments of his 200-day-old presidency. He seemed particularly intent on making the case that he still has his base behind him despite overall low poll numbers.
âThe Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio and West Virginia,â he said in a string of Twitter posts. âThe fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs, Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!â
And neither, he seemed to be saying, will he, whether the day is called a vacation or not.