Trump in winter: Eight days of golf, tweets and rage

Trump in winter: Eight days of golf, tweets and rage

Trump expanded his insults beyond his usual targets, the "fake news" media and the Democrats

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport. Credit: AP/PTI.

President Donald Trump wound up his vacation at his Florida resort on Thursday, isolated, angry and refusing to give up center stage despite making little pretense of governing the country any more.

Two months after losing the US presidential election to Joe Biden, the 74-year-old Trump is still refusing to admit his defeat.

He spent the past eight days at his Mar-a-Lago resort playing golf at the Trump International Golf Club and firing off angry tweets.

Trump expanded his insults beyond his usual targets, the "fake news" media and the Democrats.

The Supreme Court, three of whose justices he appointed? "Totally incompetent and weak."

Leaders of his Republican Party? "Pathetic."

The Republican governor of Georgia? "A complete disaster."

Other targets of vitriol? The FBI, his attorney general, The Wall Street Journal editorial page, etc.

During his vacation in Florida, Trump also uncharacteristically did not have anything to say to the White House pool of about a dozen journalists who accompanied him to the Sunshine State.

The silence was a sharp contrast to the past four years during which Trump has thrived on the give-and-take with reporters.

On the White House lawn, under the wing of Air Force One, on red carpets and elsewhere Trump has rarely been able to resist the lure of waiting television cameras and microphones.

Not at the end of 2020.

After years of proudly displaying bills and decrees that he had just signed for the television cameras, Trump put his signature on Sunday on a massive coronavirus relief package out of public view.

Trump had initially threatened to veto the eagerly awaited $900 billion stimulus bill, which was passed with bipartisan support, before finally backing down and signing it without receiving any concessions.

The lasting images of Trump's final presidential vacation will be pictures of him taken from a distance playing golf wearing a white polo shirt and a red "Make America Great Again" baseball cap.

The White House had insisted that while Trump had no public events planned at Mar-a-Lago he would be working "tirelessly."

"As the Holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls," the White House said.

At a time when the United States, like many other countries, is facing a grim surge in coronavirus cases, Trump had nothing to say about the pandemic except to blame state officials for delays in vaccine distribution.

On his next to last day in Florida, the United States saw a record 3,927 deaths in the space of 24 hours.

Trump returns to Washington on Thursday afternoon after cutting short his vacation and deciding at the last minute to pass up the traditional glitzy New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago.

He will have 20 days remaining in the White House.

And what will he do with his final days in office? Who will he pardon next? Will he attend Biden's January 20 inauguration ceremony?

Nobody knows. But it is clear that his desperate efforts to overturn the results of the November 3 presidential election are doomed to failure and his influence is waning.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the powerful Republican Senate majority leader, acknowledged Biden's victory and flatly rejected Trump's demand to increase direct Covid-19 relief payments to Americans.

And a newspaper that has been one of his most ardent supporters, the New York Post, told Trump it was time to concede defeat.

"Stop the Insanity," the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post said in a banner headline on Monday.