Jim Acosta suggested Monday that President Donald Trump’s choice to give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfer Tiger Woods could be a form of “advertisement” for a Trump-owned golf course that Woods had a hand in designing.
Standing in the Rose Garden and speaking in the words of what a “critic could argue,” the CNN White House correspondent made the comments toward the end of his pre-ceremony commentary on “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer.”
After noting that such medals are “typically handed out and issued to notable figures after a career of achievements, at the end of their careers,” Acosta said Trump was “so excited” about Woods’ historic Masters win that he “decided in a tweet” to issue the medal.
One thing we should note, The New York Times did a story about this just in the last 24 hours, asked the White House to essentially defend why the president was having Tiger Woods out here. And Sarah Sanders, in a statement to The New York Times, said that the president is issuing this Presidential Medal of Freedom, not only because of his winning the Masters tournament and all of his achievements in the world of golf, but also for breaking barriers in the sport. So that’s the word from the White House on that.
Acosta spoke of the “history” between the two men that “predates his administration.”
“They have been friends for many years; and as a matter of fact, back in 2013, the president tweeted about how he has stood by Tiger Woods when he was going through some personal trauma in his life, and the president was taking credit in that tweet essentially for standing by Tiger Woods in all of that,” Acosta said, before giving Trump credit for his loyalty to Tiger. (RELATED: Trump Predicted Tiger’s Comeback)
Then, things got a little conspiratorial:
Now, we should also note, Wolf, that the president and Tiger Woods do have something of a business arrangement. The president’s company, the Trump Organization, hired Tiger Woods to design a golf course at the president’s company’s golf course in Dubai. Wolf, that obviously shows that there are some business ties between these two men. And I suppose a critic could argue after watching all of this that there might be somewhat of an advertisement going on here, a TV ad going on here in handing out this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods. It is, in effect, publicizing one of the Trump golf courses there in Dubai that Tiger Woods had a hand in. Although we should point out that particular course has not opened yet.