Tuesday, April 25, 2017

State Department under fire for promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 10:31 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA AIX5E/INSTAGRAM
  • Photo via aix5e/Instagram
The U.S. State Department has come under fire this week for promoting Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach golf club and resort owned by President Donald Trump.

In a blog post published on ShareAmerica, which creates content for U.S. embassies and consulates around the world as part of a federal program, Trump's for-profit estate was lauded as the "winter White House." Slate reports part of the April 5 blog post ran under the subhead "A dream deferred" and said:
"Upon her death in 1973, [Marjorie Merriweather Post] willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries. Her plan didn’t work, however. Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter never used the property. And in 1981 the government returned the estate to the Post Foundation because it was costing too much money to maintain.

That opened the way for Trump, a real-estate magnate, to purchase the property in 1985. When he acquired the house, Trump also bought the decorations and furnishings that Post had collected over the years, preserving Mar-a-Lago’s style and taste. … Post’s dream of a winter White House came true with Trump’s election in 2016. Trump regularly works out of the house he maintains at Mar-a-Lago and uses the club to host foreign dignitaries."
The post was shared online by several embassies. After an outcry from critics who wondered by taxpayer dollars were being used to promote Trump's private club, ShareAmerica removed the post, saying, "The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post."

After November's election, Mar-a-Lago doubled its membership fee to $200,000. Trump, who has traveled to his estate multiple times since taking office to play golf and occasionally host foreign dignitaries, has also been criticized for his routine visits to Florida.

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