Trump administration pulls down State Department page promoting Mar-a-Lago

Posted April 25, 2017

Other topics on the Share America page include a new USA 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.

"Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer", states the article on the State Department website, going on to describe the resort in great detail: "When socialite and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post built Mar-a-Lago - Spanish for "Sea to Lake" - in 1927, she spared no expense".

Trump regularly works out of the house he maintains at Mar-a-Lago and uses the club to host foreign dignitaries. Trump broke precedent by not divesting from his business interests when he became president. Following the election, the resort's membership initiation fee doubled to $200,000.

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In March, congressional Democrats introduced a bill to force disclosure of the names of visitors meeting with Trump and other administration officials at the club and at Trump Tower in NY. The message is clear - the price of a Mar-a-Lago membership buys access to the president.

And now we can add one more to the list: The State Department is officially promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago club on its sites.

Trump has visited the resort seven times since taking office.

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"I think being able to go to Mar-a-Lago, it is my father's Crawford, Texas", Eric, who is handling day-to-day management of the Trump Organization along with his brother Donald Jr., told the Irish publication In 1985, Trump bought the property for a mere $5 million and turned it into a private club in 1995. Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer for Republican President George W. Bush, said on Twitter that the post constituted "use of public office for private gain pure and simple".

The blog entry, which was posted earlier this month, stems from an earlier post by Share America, a State Department site that aims to share "compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics" with foreign governments and USA embassies. "That, of course, is the kind of thing CREW and the other plaintiffs brought the emoluments case to stop".

A page on the website of the USA embassy in London described Mar-a-Lago as "the winter White House", even though it is a private club and its annual membership fees are $200,000. On February 9, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway offered a shameless plug for Ivanka Trump's brand during a Fox & Friends interview.

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