Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Trump tweets, hits links before high-stakes Putin meeting

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM
In this February 4, 2017 photo, demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a protest outside the US embassy in London, against US President Donald Trump.


Two days before a high-stakes summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump played golf and tweeted yesterday from one of his namesake resorts, blaming his predecessor for Russian election meddling and lashing out at the free press from foreign soil.

Aides had said Trump would spend the weekend preparing to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki, but the tweets showed other topics were on his mind.

"I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf - my primary form of exercise!" he tweeted early yesterday, referencing his seaside golf resort. "The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible! Tomorrow I go to Helsinki for a Monday meeting with Vladimir Putin."

Trump was later seen playing the Turnberry links, several holes of which are visible from a nearby beach, where dozens of people staged a protest picnic Saturday.

He was videotaped waving at protesters as they shouted "No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA!" before resuming his game. He was also seen posing for photos.

A line of police, some on horseback, stood between the course and protesters. Snipers perched atop a nearby tower overlooking the vast property.

The protesters were among the thousands who came out in Scotland and England in opposition to the US president's visit to both countries.

Some 10,000 people marched yesterday through the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, while police searched for a paraglider who breached a no-fly zone and flew a protest banner over the resort in western Scotland where Trump and his wife, Melania, are staying through today.

The glider carried a banner that said 'Trump: Well Below Par' over the resort last Friday night to protest his environmental and immigration policies.

Trump has spent the weeklong trip wreaking havoc in Europe, first at a NATO summit in Brussels where he questioned the value of the decades-old alliance, and later in Britain, where he faced fallout from a stunning newspaper interview in which he undermined British Prime Minister Theresa May at an especially vulnerable time.