As the coronavirus death toll neared 100,000, Trump spent the holiday weekend focused on his grievances.
Memorial Day weekend had an added somber tone this year, as millions of Americans still under stay-at-home orders gave up their barbecues and get-togethers and the coronavirus death toll neared 100,000.
Yet Donald Trump spent much of his weekend either on the golf course, attacking his perceived political enemies, or pushing false conspiracy theories
Trump gave a speech on Monday at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where he memorialized the dead in prepared remarks, saying, "We mourn alongside every single family that has lost loved ones, including the families of our great veterans."
However, aside from those comments, Trump seemed to have his own self-interest at the top of his mind as he fired off insults and lies via his Twitter feed.
Here are nine things Trump did over the Memorial Day weekend that did not involve honoring military members who died in service to their country.
Trump returned to the links this weekend for the first time since March 8, spending a total of 8 hours and 40 minutes at his golf property in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, according to Trump Golf Count, which tracks his golfing.
Trump was criticized for golfing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in an ad from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
"Nearly 100,000 lives have been lost, and tens of millions are out of work. Meanwhile, the president spent his day golfing," Biden tweeted alongside the ad.
Nearly 100,000 lives have been lost, and tens of millions are out of work.
Meanwhile, the president spent his day golfing. pic.twitter.com/H1BVNtgVjA
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 24, 2020
Many also pointed out that Trump attacked former President Barack Obama in 2014 for golfing during the Ebola scare.
During an appearance on "Fox & Friends" at the time, when there were just two cases of Ebola in the United States, Trump said Obama's golfing sent "the wrong signal," according to CNN's Andrew Kaczynski.
Lied about playing golf
After the criticism rolled in about his decision to golf, Trump sought to defend himself in a series of tweets that were riddled with lies.
Trump tweeted on Sunday:
"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!"
Unlike Trump's claim, Sunday's golf outing wasn't his first in months. He had golfed the day before.
Biden also was not "constantly vacationing," nor was Obama "always playing golf" as Trump claimed.
In fact, it's Trump who has spent millions in taxpayer funds at his own properties. Since taking office, Trump has spent 329 days at his own properties, 245 of which were at golf properties, according to a count from NBC. That amounts to 27% of his days in office.
At the same point in his presidency, Obama had played 98 rounds of golf, according to CNN.
Encouraged the use of a drug that studies show is not an effective treatment for COVID-19
Trump once again promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus, even though studies have shown is it not only ineffective but increases the risk of death in patients who took it.
"Many physicians agree with you. Also, some very good studies!" Trump tweeted in response to a comment from a man on Twitter, purporting to be a plastic surgeon, who said that hydroxychloroquine is "most effective early" in treatment for COVID-19.
A study released on May 22 showed that the drug was linked to a 34% "increased risk of in-hospital mortality," as well as a 137% increase in the risk of heart complications.
Accused a TV host of murder based on debunked conspiracy
Trump again accused MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murdering a woman who worked as an intern to Scarborough when he served as a member of Congress from Florida.
An autopsy report of the woman, Lori Klausutis, found she died from hitting her head in a fall caused by an undiagnosed heart condition. Scarborough was not even in Florida, where Klausutis died, at the time of her death.
However, Trump twice called for more investigation of the death.
"A blow to her head? Body found under his desk? Left Congress suddenly? Big topic of discussion in Florida...and, he’s a Nut Job (with bad ratings). Keep digging, use forensic geniuses!" Trump tweeted on Saturday.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair? What about the so-called investigator? Read story!"
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Klausutis' widower implored Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, to delete Trump's tweets, which he said were spreading "bile and misinformation" and were "disparaging the memory of my wife."
After that report, Trump on Tuesday tried to explain why he is pushing a false conspiracy theory, tweeting:
"The opening of a Cold Case against Psycho Joe Scarborough was not a Donald Trump original thought, this has been going on for years, long before I joined the chorus. In 2016 when Joe & his wacky future ex-wife, Mika, would endlessly interview me, I would always be thinking about whether or not Joe could have done such a horrible thing? Maybe or maybe not, but I find Joe to be a total Nut Job, and I knew him well, far better than most. So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Law enforcement eventually will?"
Attacked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Trump once again waded into Sessions' attempt to win back his old Senate seat in Alabama, reaffirming his endorsement of Sessions' opponent in a Republican runoff.
"3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began. Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville), the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!" Trump tweeted on Friday, along with a link to an online fundraising portal for Sessions' opponent.
After Sessions responded, Trump again attacked Sessions, tweeting on Saturday:
"Jeff, you had your chance & you blew it. Recused yourself ON DAY ONE (you never told me of a problem), and ran for the hills. You had no courage, & ruined many lives. The dirty cops, & others, got caught by better & stronger people than you. Hopefully this slime will pay a big price. You should drop out of the race & pray that super liberal @DougJones, a weak & pathetic puppet for Crazy Nancy Pelosi & Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, gets beaten badly. He voted for impeachment based on 'ZERO'. Disgraced Alabama. Coach @TTuberville will be a GREAT Senator!"
Falsely said voting by mail is fraud
Trump again tweeted out a false claim that voting by mail is prone to fraud and cannot be trusted.
"The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and 'force' people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!"
Democrats have been pushing for increased funding for voting by mail this fall, as the coronavirus may make in-person voting unsafe.
Republicans have publicly echoed Trump's false claims that the method is bad and shouldn't be adopted. But privately, Republicans have been encouraging their voters to vote by mail and obtain absentee ballots.
Retweeted cruel comments about female Democrats' appearance
Trump retweeted two tweets from the same user that called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ugly and fat-shamed Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who is vying to be Biden's running-mate.
"We just got a look at the official portrait for the self proclaimed Governor of Georgia. She fought a tough race, kissed a lot of babies and visited every buffet restaurant in the State. Joe will be a racist if he doesn’t pick her," reads the tweet Trump amplified about Abrams from John K Stahl.
Trump also retweeted another one of Stahl's tweets that mocked Pelosi's teeth and eyebrows.
Called for schools to be reopened even though public health experts say it's unsafe
Schools across the country have been closed for months in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
While school closures have put a strain on working parents, 48 states have canceled school until the fall and public health experts say a lot more needs to be done in order to ensure schools can even resume again in the fall.
Yet Trump on Sunday called for schools to reopen against those public health experts' guidance.
"Schools in our country should be opened ASAP. Much very good information now available," Trump tweeted.
Falsely attacked a Democratic veteran
Trump on Monday attacked Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) in a lie-filled tweet meant to endorse Lamb's Republican opponent.
"Sean Parnell is an American Hero. Conor Lamm has proven to be an American fraud, and a puppet for Crazy Nancy Pelosi. He said he would NOT vote for her for Speaker, and did. Will kill 2A. Voted to impeach (on nothing). A TOTAL & COMPLETE Sean Parnell Endorsement!" Trump tweeted.
Lamb, a Marine Corps veteran, did not vote for Pelosi for speaker, as Trump claimed.
Lamb is also pro-gun, unlike what Trump claimed.
Trump deleted the initial tweet, which misspelled Lamb's name as "Lamm." He tweeted it again on Tuesday with Lamb's name spelled correctly but the other lies left intact.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.