Trump escapes Washington for rounds of golf and Super Bowl party in Florida

VIDEO: REUTERS

WEST PALM BEACH (WASHINGTON POST) - After two frenetic weeks of governing, the first signs that President Donald Trump has taken a break from governance came over the weekend, when he decamped Washington for the "Winter White House," as he has dubbed his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The president stayed largely out of sight on Saturday (Feb 4) and Sunday (Feb 5), except for a few social engagements at Mar-a-Lago and the nearby Trump International Golf Club.

After declining to say what the president was up to for most of the weekend, the White House acknowledged on Sunday afternoon that he may have also played a few rounds of golf at his resort, where he spent several hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

As Mr Trump took time to unwind, one of his earliest actions as president hung in the balance. The Homeland Security Department and the State Department moved to roll back enforcement of his executive order restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, in compliance with the ruling of a federal judge in Seattle.

Repeatedly over the weekend, Mr Trump fired off a series of tweets criticising the decision and the judge who made it. But with the fate of his executive order hanging in the balance, Mr Trump kept his schedule: trips to the golf resort in the morning, a Red Cross gala on Saturday night and a Super Bowl party on Sunday afternoon.

He also made several calls to world leaders.

It's a common practice for presidents to squeeze in recreation amid the 24-hour demands of the job. But golfing-while-president was something that Mr Trump had sharply criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for doing during his time in office.

As recently as May 2016, Mr Trump criticised Mr Obama for playing golf while the country's airport security was "falling apart."

"While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!" Mr Trump tweeted.

He has also said in the past that he would rarely take time off or leave the White House as president.

"I would rarely leave the White House because there's so much work to be done," he told the Hill in 2015. "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off."

Mr Trump was joined in Florida by First Lady Melania Trump, who has continued to live in New York with the couple's young son, Barron.

The couple travelled across town to the golf resort to watch the Super Bowl with other members of the members-only club. They were greeted at the entrance by a high school marching band."Great job!" Mr Trump said after the band finished the second song.

He turned to one band member: "Did I ruin that song for you?""Thank you all very much," he continued, adding: "Every year we do this."

Mr Trump, dressed in a suit and a red tie, sat at a table that was set apart from mingling club members by a velvet rope.

He was joined by the First Lady, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the latter's two children and wife Sally.