I still don’t get this notion of Trump businesses now charging for government business.
Sure, Trump has claimed to step back from his business ventures, and his adoring fan club likes to wave their red caps (the ones who haven’t burned them) and point out that he’s not taking a salary as president, but that’s not completely right.
He refused to divest himself from his businesses. He simply turned over control to his sons. Meanwhile, he gets his money from a trust fund that gets its funding from his businesses.
Aaannndd another meanwhile, he’s doubled membership rates at his clubs and hotels.
Then there’s this:
The government paid more than $1,000 for an official to stay at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, The Washington Post reports.
The payment of $1,092 was made to reserve two nights at the resort in March. The club charged the discount-free “rack rate” of $546 per night.
The receipt for the payment was first obtained by the watchdog group Property of the People, which filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Coast Guard seeking records related to Trump’s properties.
If it was government business, he couldn’t have waived that fee?
So while the Trump faithful swell with pride, make worshipful memes to post online, and assure each other, “Oh, isn’t he so very good? A true man of the people… taking no salary!” the reality is, he’s making fat bank by using his position as president to charge exorbitant amounts, far outside the norm, for his properties.
For the jacked up rates he’s charging at his properties, he’s likely making a lot more than the presidential salary he’s supposedly “giving up.”
In this instance, there’s no name for who was staying at the resort, only “National Security Council” written across the top of the invoice.
Trump currently faces three lawsuits regarding what some say are his violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, as they insist he’s unfairly profiting from his newly formed connections to foreign leaders.
This will do little to quiet those voices.
Trump’s lawyer, Sheri Dillon, insists that the money that comes in through Trump’s business interests does not qualify, as it is kept at an “arm’s length.”
The White House has previously made clear that it would not charge for the use of Trump’s resorts for government affairs, including a February meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Except for when they do.