US President Donald Trump reportedly told members of his New Jersey golf club that the reason he spends so much time away from Washington is because the White House is a "real dump". Trump reportedly made the remarks to members of his Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, before teeing off.
"That White House is a real dump," Trump said, according to an in-depth feature in Golf Magazine on the president and his relationship with the sport. The lengthy article also appeared in Sports Illustrated.
"Though Trump doesn't like to publicly identify a favourite among his courses, Bedminster is special to him because of the acclaim it has received and its proximity to his home base of New York City," Golf Magazine noted. "During election season, Bedminster morphed into a kind of permanent campaign rally site."
The magazine reported that "Trump is often at his most unguarded among the people who pay for their proximity to him".
In November last year, then President-elect Trump hosted a cocktail reception and dinner at the venue the same weekend that he was holding interviews to fill cabinet positions. At the dinner, he reportedly said: "This is my real group. You are the special people. I see all of you. I recognise, like, 100% of you, just about."
He also apparently issued the guests an open invitation to drop in on his cabinet interviews the next day.
Since his inauguration, Trump has made four trips to the Bedminster club, Golf Magazine noted. The embattled president has also continued to draw fierce criticism over his frequent and expensive weekend trips to other Trump-owned properties during his presidency.
People on social media immediately slammed Trump over his perceived insult to the historic presidential residence that has housed the country's first families for centuries, and furiously defended "The People's House."
"Men and women risk their lives every day to guard our nation's house. He is not fit to lick their boots," one person wrote, while another said: "It breaks my heart to hear what he said."
Shortly after Trump's remarks became public, Chelsea Clinton swiftly clapped back on Twitter saying: "Thank you to all the White House ushers, butlers, maids, chefs, florists, gardeners, plumbers, engineers & curators for all you do every day."
"Trump thinks the White House is a real dump. Well, many Americans think a human heap of garbage has taken up residence there," Republican strategist and political commentator Ana Navarro tweeted.
One Twitter user wrote: "He has no respect for our democracy or the People's House. He's beneath the dignity of the office & should reside in a gold plated toilet."