As word trickled back to the White House, advisers worked to reach the president, with Trump's personal aide interrupting at one point to hand him a cellphone with White House communicators director Hope Hicks on the line, who checked in on the interview from afar.
But others were out of the loop even after The New York Times story was posted online last Thursday evening.
"The president is able to get a lot of information that is normally blocked from getting to him... There is no doubt that he makes more calls." Trump's personal quarters are off-limits to most members - several friends said they have never been inside.
His regular routine is simple and predictable: He wakes up, watches television, tweets, makes phone calls, reads the papers and works.
Playing the greens: US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the United States Coast Guard during an invitation to play golf at Trump International Golf Club in Florida, last Friday.
Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Getty When US President Donald Trump sat down with a reporter for a wide-ranging, 30-minute interview at his private golf club in Florida last Thursday, not a single aide or adviser was present at the table - and not a single presidential aide or adviser knew about it in advance.
"Tell them I am relaxing and enjoying myself and I'm in very good spirits because I've just had the most successful first year any president has ever had in American history," Carr said the president told him.
Inside the White House, aides filter what information gets to Trump and who meets him, trying to prevent rash or uninformed decisions.
He often emerges for golf if the weather allows, before returning to the club, where he sometimes eats lunch or has meetings with White House staff.
He then returns to his living quarters, before emerging again for dinner.
They often monitor his call logs, with chief of staff John Kelly, who often listens in on calls, telling people to go through him when they want to speak to the president.
White House officials said they appreciate that time at Mar-a-Lago is a respite for Trump, a familiar and comfortable haven for him to recharge while surrounded by family and friends.
He used to stop by tables to chat or wander the patio, but has stopped that in recent months, members and friends say.