State Department Promotion of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Draws Fire

Donald Trump outside the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club

The article gives a brief summary of the 1927 mansion's history, including Post's desire that it be used by US presidents as a retreat and the subsequent decision by the USA government that the property was too expensive to maintain.

"By visiting this 'winter White House, ' Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer", the blog reads, according to the Associated Press. Trump broke precedent by not divesting from his business interests when he became president.

The short item was posted on a promotional website called "Share America" on April 4, ahead of Trump's meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The State Department has not responded to requests for comment on the issue.

Other topics on the Share America page include a new US coin honoring Frederick Douglass, debate over the Confederate flag and news about first lady Melania Trump's participation in the State Department's International Women of Courage award ceremony. "After refurbishing the house and adding an events space, Trump opened the estate to dues-paying members of the public in 1995 as the Mar-a-Lago Club". "Scott Amey, an attorney with the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, said the post may not be an outright endorsement of Mar-a-Lago, but that "someone inside of the government should have said 'no" to the story and further helping Trump make money while serving in the White House".

The U.S. State Department's recent promotion of President Donald Trump's Florida resort is drawing criticism from Democrats and ethics advocates.

In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, Norm Eisen, former Obama administration ethics czar, said the State Department's conduct appears to be a violation of a federal statute prohibiting federal employees from using public offices for private gaine.

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Some ethics watchdogs and Democratic groups have warned that the Florida club presents a conflict of interest.

"This idea of using government for private gain is metastasizing", Eisen said.

The entry details how it was built by Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1927, when the cereal heiress hoped the property would be used by presidents and dignitaries.

But on the webpage about Mar-a-Lago, there is no discussion of policy.

A quick search via Google and via the State Department did not find the article on other State Dept. websites for countries other than the United Kingdom. "Why are taxpayer $$ promoting the President's private country club", he wrote. Trump bought it in 1985.

Members of Congress also attacked the Trump administration.

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