Golf great Rory McIlroy has teed off on President Trump’s leadership style during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a lengthy interview for the McKellar Golf Podcast, McIlroy warmed up to his blistering critique by hinting he’s already turned down follow-up invitations to play with the president after they met for a round in February 2017.
“So I haven’t done it since … out of choice,” he told the podcast’s hosts, Scottish golf journalists Lawrence Donegan and John Huggan.
McIlroy, 31, said he found Trump to be “charismatic” and “cordial” that day, “but that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything — or, in fact, anything — that he says.”
The world’s No. 1 golfer then took his swing at Trump’s handling of the worldwide health emergency.
“We’re in the midst of something that’s pretty serious right now, and the fact that he’s trying to politicize it and make it a campaign rally and say that he administers the most tests in the world like it’s a contest, there’s some stuff that just is terrible,” he said.
“It’s not the way a leader should act, um, and there is a bit of, sort of, diplomacy that you need to show, and I just don’t think he’s shown that, especially in these times,” he said.
Donegan and Huggan then asked if McIlroy might consider playing with Trump again in the future.
“I don’t know if he’d want to play with me again after what I just said,” McIlroy responded.
“It’s very self-serving of me to say ‘No,’ because if I don’t, then it means that I’m not putting myself in the position to come under scrutiny, and I’m avoiding that. But, yeah, I probably wouldn’t, no,” he said.
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