When Donald Trump took office, he promised that none of his social media accounts would reference his role as president. Trump violated that oath last week after creating and posting to Facebook videos promoting his visit to his Doonbeg golf course.
According to HuffPost, Trump’s trip to Trump Doonbeg in Ireland cost taxpayers $3.6 million dollars, bringing his total golf tab to $106 million since taking office 2 and a half years ago.
While he was there, video of his arrival aboard Marine One was filmed, as well as video of him teeing off on the first green. Both of these videos were posted to Trump Doonbeg’s Facebook page as promotional material touting the president’s choice to play at the course.
The videos were removed after HuffPost began making inquiries about them.
The Trump Organization made a pledge at the beginning of the president’s term 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.”
This provision was put in place to help ensure that Trump and his businesses wouldn’t benefit from his role as the leader of the country in order to prevent any conflicts of interest.
Trump claimed to reporters as he left the White House for his visit to the U.K. that his visit to Doonbeg was done out of convenience.
“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,” he said.
However, as the HuffPost reports, Trump was far closer to Paris and Normandy, where Trump was scheduled to appear for D-Day commemoration events. His visit to Doonbeg required a trip that added $3.6 million in travel costs to the taxpayer tab.
Trump also had no official business scheduled in Ireland when the itinerary was created. Trump did conduct an hour-long meeting at the Shannon Airport lounge with Ireland’s prime minister, but that meeting wasn’t added until well after plans for a visit to Trump’s golf course were created.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington say that Trump’s abuse of taxpayer funding and mixing of business and his role as president isn’t without precedent.
“At this point, it appears that Donald Trump views his presidency as just another way to support his business,” said Jordan Libowitz. “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.”