DRAIN THE SWAMP!!
State Department, U.S. embassies promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago
By DARREN SAMUELSOHN
04/24/17 03:50 PM EDT
President Donald Trump isn’t the only one promoting his private Mar-a-Lago club as the “winter White House.” His foreign policy team is doing it too.
The State Department and at least two U.S. embassies — the United Kingdom and Albania — earlier this month circulated a 400-word blog post detailing the long history of the president’s private South Florida club, which has been open to dues-paying members since the mid-1990s and is now used by Trump for frequent weekend getaways. He has hosted foreign leaders there twice.
The blog post — written by the State Department-managed site Share America — describes the “dream deferred” when Mar-a-Lago’s original builder, Marjorie Merriweather Post, willed the property to the federal government upon her death in 1973, with the stipulation it be used as a winter retreat for the president.
“Her plan didn’t work, however,” the post’s author, Leigh Hartman, wrote, explaining how the government returned the property to Post’s trust because it cost too much money to maintain. Trump bought the property and its furniture in 1985, and he opened it a decade later as a private club.
“Post’s dream of a winter White House came true with Trump’s election in 2016,” Hartman wrote.
The State Department’s efforts to share Hartman’s article – originally published just before Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago -- drew newfound attention Monday after reporters linked to it on Twitter. Democrats quickly piled on.l
Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics attorney and frequent Trump critic, said the State Department ran afoul of U.S. laws prohibiting public officials from using their office for private gain. Those violations “have gone viral thruout [sic] our embassies,” he wrote on Twitter. “Trump gutting foreign aid to covert embassies 2 trump promo outlets!”
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also slammed Trump’s administration, linking to an April 5 tweet from the State Department’s Economic & Business Affairs office that promoted the president’s club by asking: “Curious about the President’s winter White House also known as Mar-a-Lago?”
“Yes, I am curious @StateDept. Why are taxpayer $$ promoting the President’s private country club,” Wyden asked Monday on Twitter. A few minutes later, the senator postedthe full Share America article “in its kleptocratic glory.”
State Department and embassy officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.