Four Trump Organization golf courses, including one at US president Donald Trump's Bedminster, New Jersey, residence, were vandalised, with slogans critical of the administration etched into putting greens. Police have a suspect in custody.
Nine greens at Trump courses in Ferry Point, Hudson Valley, and Westchester – all in New York – and Bedminster were damaged in similar acts of vandalism, according to a person familiar with the incident. The Trump Organization said a suspect has been identified.
“We take all acts of vandalism very seriously, and would like to thank local law enforcement officials for their efforts,” the Trump Organization said in a statement. “The individual responsible is in custody, and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Robert Wolf, a spokesman for Westchester County district attorney Anthony A Scarpino (jnr), said his office was investigating an incident on Sunday at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York. He said a person would be in court on September 27th in connection with the incident but declined to identify the person or specify the charges.
The Trump Organization did not disclose when the damage occurred or whether the president, who stayed at Bedminster over the weekend, was present when the vandal struck.
The US Secret Service referred a question about the incident to local authorities in Westchester, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. White House communications director Hope Hicks said she was not aware of the incident.
At the president's club at Bedminster the vandal apparently used a chemical to write messages on the green. One was an adapted soliloquy from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, who's titular hero was known for his ruthless political ambition.
Other messages written into the greens include "President Pence has a bad ring to it", "If Jesus came back tomorrow he wouldn't be an evangelical", and "Product of too much Propecia," in an apparent reference to the president's hair, according to photos of some of the damage seen by Bloomberg.
The vandalism of the golf courses targets some of the president’s favourite Trump Organization properties – he has visited his clubs 57 times since his inauguration. He has repeatedly claimed on social media that the courses are among the best in the US, and in July spent a weekend observing the US Women’s Open Championship at the course.
Vandals hit Trump's golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in March, causing $20,000 in damage by cutting into greens, the Los Angeles Times reported.