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Trump spends fifth day on his golf course after double defeats on Capitol Hill

President Donald Trump returned to his golf course for a fifth day in a row on Tuesday following two humiliating defeats on Capitol Hill where he suffered his first ever veto over ride and a vast majority of House Republicans rejected his call for $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans.

Trump took to Twitter to rage about the blows to his presidency before he headed to the links. 

He first called on the Senate to amend the defense bill after the House overrode the veto, 322-87. The upper chamber is scheduled to vote to override Trump’s veto today, which will turn the legislation into law.

‘Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Say goodbye to VITAL Section 230 termination, your National Monuments, Forts (names!) and Treasures (inserted by Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren), 5G, and our great soldiers being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us.’

‘A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech,’ he continued. ‘Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!’ 

The president vetoed the bill because he wanted a repeal of Section 230 – part of the Communications Act that gives tech companies a liability shield from lawsuits against content on their platforms – repealed. It has nothing to do with the defense bill, which funds the Pentagon and gives a pay raise to the troops. 

The Senate is expect to follow the House and support the override. The defense bill is considered must-pass legislation and the Pentagon cannot function without it.  

President Donald Trump returned to his golf course for a fifth day on Tuesday

Trump has spent the majority of his time in Florida at his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach

Trump has spent the majority of his time in Florida at his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach

Trump took to Twitter to rage about the blows to his presidency

Trump took to Twitter to rage about the blows to his presidency

President Donald Trump called for 'new leadership' in Congress Tuesday morning after the House voted to over turn his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act without including a measure to toss out legal liability protections for 'big tech' companies

President Donald Trump called for ‘new leadership’ in Congress Tuesday morning after the House voted to over turn his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act without including a measure to toss out legal liability protections for ‘big tech’ companies

Trump also saw on Monday a vast majority of House Republicans vote against his request for $2,000 stimulus checks to the American people – 130 GOP lawmakers voted against it, while just 44 Republicans voted in favor. 

The legislation passed in the House because of support from Democrats and now moves to the Senate.

‘$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!,’ Trump tweeted Tuesday morning before his golf game.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said if he will hold a vote on upping the checks from $600 to $2,000. Trump made the last-minute demand last week and threatened to veto the COVID relief package over the matter.

His move caught lawmakers by surprise given the legislation was passed by Congress and negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on behalf of the administration.

McConnell has two options: Bring the measure to the floor for a vote and see what happens or force a New Year’s Day vote. 

McConnell lauded the president for signing the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill after Trump suggested last week he could veto the measure, but the Kentucky senator did not mention anything about bigger checks.

By holding off on voting, McConnell could also impede Georgia Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue campaigning for their January 5 runoff elections. If the two were absent from Georgia as they had to remain in Washington for the Senate session, their Democratic competitors could gain a leg up in their home state.

The runoff elections in the southern state will determine which party holds a majority in the Senate for Joe Biden’s first two years in office.

Trump also claimed the Senate will consider a repeal of Section 230 but McConnell also has not mentioned when that will occur. 

Trump has spent the majority of his time in Florida at his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach – Tuesday marks the fifth out of six days he has golfed since arriving in Florida to spend the holiday season with his family. 

He’s played with friends, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who joined the president on the green on Christmas Day. 

The president also played golf with pro Bernhard Langer on Monday – six days after he pardoned a property developer friend of the two-time Masters champion at his request. 

Florida resident Langer, 63, had until now been notable in his absence from publicly playing a round of golf with the president. Trump has been spotted on the greens with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Ernie Els, among other golf pros.

On December 23, Trump announced that he was pardoning South Florida real estate developer James Batmasian. The pardon was backed by Langer, GOP Congressman Brian Mast and ‘many others from the South Florida community’, according to a White House statement.  

Batmasian – who was once the largest commercial property owner developer in Boca Raton – served eight months in federal prison in 2008 for not paying the IRS about $250,000 in payroll taxes. 

In a statement, the White House said Batmasian ‘made overtime payments without withholding for income taxes or FICA contributions. While illegal, Mr. Batmasian recorded all of these payments and made no attempt to hide them when confronted by IRS investigators.’

Trump and Langer were seen together at the president's West Palm Beach golf course Monday

Trump and Langer were seen together at the president’s West Palm Beach golf course Monday

On Monday - six days after Batmasian was granted the pardon - Langer was spotted teeing off with Trump at his golf course in West Palm Beach

On Monday – six days after Batmasian was granted the pardon – Langer was spotted teeing off with Trump at his golf course in West Palm Beach

Batmasian is pictured with his wife Marta in court in Palm Beach in November 2017

Batmasian is pictured with his wife Marta in court in Palm Beach in November 2017

On Monday – six days after Batmasian was granted the pardon – Langer was spotted teeing off with Trump at his golf course in West Palm Beach. 

Langer has previously been drawn into controversy with Trump. 

In January 2017 Trump, alleging voter fraud that he said prevented him winning the popular vote, told a story of how ‘the very famous golfer, Bernhard Langer’ had a frustrating experience when trying to vote near his Florida home on Election Day.

Langer – who is German and lives in Florida – later qualified that he is not a US citizen, and was therefore never intended on voting.

He said that Trump had called him to clear up the matter, reported by The New York Times, which he thought was ‘amazing’.

‘We talked on the phone, and he was very clear,’ said Langer during a press conference on tour. ‘If there was anything that hurt me, he apologized.

‘And I apologized, too, for some of the quotes that were incorrect and we’re on good terms.

‘It was fun talking to him briefly and I thought that’s a great gesture from him because he’s got a lot of other things to be concerned about, not just, you know, this golfer Bernhard Langer. He’s got far more important things to do. But for him to take the time, talk to me for a brief while and clear things up is pretty amazing.’


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