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Thursday 22 August 2019

Trump's businesses net millions from his own visits


US President Donald Trump. Picture: Reuters
US President Donald Trump. Picture: Reuters
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

US President Donald Trump's trips to his own hotels and golf resorts, including his Doonbeg venue, have netted millions of dollars in extra revenues for his businesses.

A new analysis has shown that the US president has taken dozens of trips to his Trump Organisation venues since taking office, with many US federal officials and Republican Party operatives paying to go where Mr Trump goes.

Such trips have netted his private businesses at least $1.6m (€1.4m) in revenue according to the 'Washington Post', which analysed records dating primarily from Mr Trump's first six months in office.

The real figure is likely to be much higher now that he is more than halfway through his first term.

The president spent two nights at his luxury Trump International Golf Links and Hotel at Doonbeg, in Co Clare, at the start of this month using it as a European base for his D-Day visit to France.

The Irish Independent previously reported that inquiries to the golf resort are now running at more than double the level of 2016 amid expectations that bookings will soar in the coming months.

Mr Trump denied his visit to Ireland was purely a PR exercise for his golf resort when he touched down on our shores at the start of the month, saying he was "honoured" to be in Ireland.

The 'Washington Post' reported that Mr Trump has faced pushback from aides, including the White House Counsel's Office, for making official visits to his properties.

Aides worry that such visits give rise to a perception that Mr Trump is using the power of the presidency to direct US taxpayers' money to his own business interests.

But Mr Trump has scheduled even more detours from official trips to his businesses in recent months, including the two-night stay at Doonbeg.

Irish Independent

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