Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) could report this week that US President Donald Trump was happy with the Ping golf club, a putter, that Norway’s prime minister gave him earlier this year. DN obtained a copy of Trump’s thank-you note, personally delivered by his new envoy in Oslo.
“You certainly know my interests well,” Trump wrote in his note to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who visited Trump at the White House in January. She had the putter with her as a gift, before Trump’s golfing interests stirred up more controversy and questions this spring. Trump harshly criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for playing golf while he was president, but US media have since revealed that Trump himself has taken time off to play golf 113 times since he took over in the Oval Office. Questions are also flying over how Trump can benefit financially from visits to the golf courses and hotels he owns by members of his government and visiting dignitaries.
Trump also thanked Solberg for her visit in the note dated January 30. “It was great to host you at the White House earlier this month,” he wrote, adding that “the United States values our close friendship with Norway and its people, as we look forward to strengthening these bonds even further. I hope to see you soon.”
Trump later threatened a trade war with China that would have hurt Norwegian interests, and now his sanctions against Iran threaten Norwegian companies that had begun doing business with Iran after earlier sanctions were lifted when Iran agreed to stem its nuclear program. Trump doesn’t like the deal that Norway helped put together and which major European countries strongly support. Norway, meanwhile, is keen to maintain it.