President Donald Trump had kind words for Tiger Woods on Monday after the legendary golfer decided to largely avoid a question about the commander-in-chief at a golf tournament over the weekend.
Trump tweeted: “The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!”
The post from the president followed Woods stating he had respect for the office of the president during a press conference over the weekend at The Northern Trust.
Via a transcript from ASAP Sports, Woods was asked by a reporter, “Your relationship with Donald Trump, how would you describe that professionally and personally?”
The golfer responded, “Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years. We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
A reporter then asked, “At times, especially 2018, I think a lot of people, especially people of color, immigrants, are threatened by him and his policy—what do you say to people who might find it interesting that you have a friendly relationship with him?”
“Well, he’s the president of the United States,” Woods said. “You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
Finally, Woods was asked if he had “anything more broadly to say about the state and the discourse of race relations?”
“No,” he said. “I just finished 72 holes and really hungry.”
Woods and Trump have golfed together since he took office. The former reality TV star and real estate developer has deep ties to the game of golf, with the Trump Organization owning and running more than a dozen golf courses worldwide.
Trump has also spent much of his presidency on or around a golf course. The White House doesn’t usually reveal when the president plays a round—it’s a touchy subject since Trump often criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for golfing—but according to the tracking website Trump Golf Count he has visited a course some 141 times since taking office.