Back in March, the government paid the Trump-owned Florida club Mar-a-lago to reserve a bedroom for two nights in anticipation of a trip by President Trump and his White House entourage at the price of $1,092, according to a receipt confirmed by The Washington Post.
According to the Post, the receipt “offers one of the first concrete signs that Trump’s use of Mar-a-Lago as the ‘Winter White House’ has resulted in taxpayer funds flowing directly into the coffers of his private business.”
Government ethics watchdogs have kept a close eye on Trump-owned properties. One eyebrow-raising example is when the U.S. embassy in the U.K. appeared to promote Mar-a-lago. “Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in [West Virginia] or a single mom in Detroit to pay for promoting Mar-a-Lago?” Hillary Clinton’s former national spokesman, Josh Schwerin, tweeted.
The frequency of Trump and his administration using taxpayer dollars to fund his private businesses is still unclear. But as the Post points out, “some ethics experts say the government payment to Mar-a-Lago raises concerns about the domestic emoluments clause, which was intended to prevent the president from receiving payments beyond his salary from state or federal governments.”
Some are also wondering why the government would pay rooms at Mar-a-Lago when there are less expensive options in the neighborhood.
“The choice to stay there and have the government pay the $546-a-night rate seems imprudent,” ethics law professor Kathleen Clark told the Post. “If it were not owned by the president, it would still seem problematic. The fact that it’s owned by the president makes it doubly problematic.”
Read the full report from The Washington Post here.
Featured image via Flickr