You will doubtless recall the news headlines the other week when President Trump retweeted, with apparent approval, inflammatory anti-Islamic tweets that had been disseminated by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a Far Right political group. Other points aside, the evidence pointed to what Fransen put out as being ‘fake news’ – i.e. the purported depiction of Muslims killing someone didn’t actually happen. You can do an awful lot, and an awful lot of harm, on Photoshop and the like these days if you have the inclination and the necessary level of technological skills. (I have neither; as to the latter, it’s as much as I can do to manage to upload this blog.)
So, you’re thinking, what on earth has this got to do with golf? Well, after Trump had done this, our PM, Theresa May, in perhaps the most astonishing action of her premiership (and there are a few contenders for that accolade), actually told Trump off. She said he had been “wrong” to retweet what Fransen had said. I know, that doesn’t sound too cataclysmic, but given how far she has gone towards courting the president, that put-down seemed quite strong. The Donald, being Trump, didn’t stand for that for long. He responded: “@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
(Try telling that to the concert-goers in Las Vegas, I guess. Also, in error he initially sent his message to the wrong Twitter handle, which meant it first went to a Theresa Scrivener, who has six followers and follows 103 people. But it’s good to know the American nuclear deterrent is in safe, if small, hands.)
Oh yes, sorry, the golf. Around the time the Theresa banter was going on, Donald was also occupied elsewhere. On the golf course, of course. He was playing with the former US Ryder Cup player, Brad Faxon, in a match against the world No. 1, Dustin Johnson, and the former No. 1, Tiger Woods. “I was impressed with how far he hit the ball,” said Faxon of Woods. “Probably on the 10 holes that they were both hitting driver, Tiger hit it past Dustin half the time.”
It is not clear if Faxon had any views about Fransen but he told Fox News: “The bombing in Egypt happened while we were on the 9th hole and somebody came out and told us about it. He [Trump] brought us all together and…he had to release a statement.” After that bit of nastiness, the round was thankfully resumed. Faxon agreed with his interviewer that Trump “acted like he didn’t have a care in the world, just loved it”. Faxon added: “And who wouldn’t? I mean, you’re playing with the most famous golfer in the world and the No. 1 player in the world…he’s a legitimately good player. He says he’s a 3- or 4-handicap but we gave him four a side.We gave him eight shots.”
The president is due in Britain soon, probably in February, to formally open the new American embassy in London. The state visit is not yet off but nor is it yet scheduled. The Queen is safe for now but perhaps not Queenwood. If I was Mrs May, looking to cultivate the “special relationship” (something all our PM’s believe in but none of their presidents do), I’d be finding a day that’s free for Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood to play with Donny – and booking the tee-time now!
You can follow me on Twitter @robrtgreen and also on my other blog: f-factors.com