Concerns arise of Trump blurring the lines between his presidential duties and benefiting family business empire due to his frequent trips.
During his first two months in office, Donald Trump has spent seven consecutive weekends at properties that bear his name. This has prompted concerns that he is blurring the lines between his presidential duties and his family’s business empire.
Except for the first weekend, the President has spent every weekend of his presidency in a Trump-owned property, despite his campaign pledges to “rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done”.
Trump’s second, third and fourth weekends in the job were spent at his private Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago. While on the fifth he went for dinner at a Trump Hotel in Washington DC.
On the sixth weekend he went to Mar-a-Lago again, and the following week visited the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.
According to reports, he is spending this weekend at Mar-a-Lago again, bringing the total weekends spent in Trump-owned property to seven in a row.
Before taking on the role of US president, Trump said that he was passing the business onto his sons, and pledged he would not discuss it with them.
Trump said at the time” “My two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” referring to the sons now in control of the Trump Organization. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me,” he added.
His frequent trips to properties owned by his family business have sparked concerns about him and his family seeking to make money from his position as President, despite it not being a violation of the promises he made about not having a hand in the operation of his old business.
Head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, recently said that while Trump was removing himself from his properties, he would still be able to drive business.
According to CNN, he said: “His sons are still running the businesses, and of course, he knows what he owns. Common sense dictates that a President can, of course, have very real conflicts of interest.”
This comes after calculations made by The Independent showing that the security and travel costs of the President’s trips to Mar-a-Lago could spare the arts, poor and elderly services from cuts in his proposed budget.
The services total cost is $597m, just below the $600m security arrangements for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits estimated cost to the taxpayer over the course of his term if he continues to take the trips.
Breaking campaign promises:
In 2015, Trump told a reported: “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done. I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off,” which contradicts with his frequent trips to the Mar-a-Lago.