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Trump defends his working vacation, surprises wedding guests at NJ golf club

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump says he is hard at work while he takes a break from Washington.

On Twitter Saturday, Trump said: “Working in Bedminster, N.J., as long planned construction is being done at the White House. This is not a vacation – meetings and calls!”

Trump arrived at his private golf club in New Jersey on Friday for a 17-day stay. He held no public events Saturday and little information was available about how he spent the day. Aides did not answer questions about whether he played golf.

Presidents have a long tradition of leaving Washington during the summer. But there is also a practical explanation. Everyone working in the White House West Wing had to relocate so the government could replace a 27-year-old heating and cooling system.

Some guests at a New Jersey couple’s wedding got a surprise when Trump stopped to chat with them.

The Republican president got out of his golf cart and asked the group if they were having a good time, then paused to take a selfie with one of them before he went inside the club.

Trump has been known to stop in on weddings held at the golf club in the past, including one staged there in June.

He was accompanied on the trip by the aide charged with resetting his administration — new chief of staff John Kelly.

A White House official said Trump’s plans for Bedminster included meetings with aides and lawmakers. He was briefed by Kelly about the three U.S. Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia on Saturday while trying to land.