The president is rarely in a building, save for the White House, that doesn’t have his name on it. And that is costing the American taxpayer more than $100 million, according to HuffPost. Trump’s recent visit to his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, contributed $3.6 million to that total.
The expenses for Trump’s trip included $1,023,940 for car and limo rentals, $10,866 to install temporary phone lines and an astounding $16,325 for the Secret Service to rent golf carts to follow the president while he played the links. And according to HuffPost, the jaunt to Ireland cost the State Department $1.5 million in contracts for the trip.
And the resort tried to cash in even more on its presidential owner by posting videos on Facebook of him golfing there and of his helicopter arrival. But, HuffPost says, the videos were taken down after they made inquiries. As were two tweets promoting the president’s visit. The posts were a violation of the pledge the Trump Organization made at the beginning of his term, promising that “no communications of the Organization, including social media accounts, will reference or otherwise be tied to President-Elect Trump’s role as President of the United States or the Office of the Presidency.”
Trump told reporters as he left the White House last week that he was staying at his resort at Doonbeg for convenience, saying, “Well, we’re going to be staying at Doonbeg, in Ireland because it’s convenient and it’s a great place. But it’s convenient.”
As HuffPost points out, however, going to Doonbeg required quite a detour, and it would have made more sense for Trump to stay overnight in France after visiting Normandy, rather than flying to Ireland.
Jordan Libowitz of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is suing the administration for violating the “emoluments clause” of the Constitution told HuffPost, “At this point, it appears that Donald Trump views his presidency as just another way to support his business,” Libowitz said. “On an international trip at taxpayer expense, he stopped by to film a commercial for his Irish golf course, which is advertising the stop explicitly as one by the president of the United States. His own lawyers, in their ‘Conflict of Interest’ white paper, said this would not happen. But at this point, it’s clear all that matters to President Trump is what makes him money.”
The trip was Trump’s 181st overnight stay at a golf course during his presidency, and most of those stays—all but two—were at Trump-owned properties. Trump returned to the White House from his European trip on Friday night. On Saturday, he was back at another one of his properties: Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.