A new report by the government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility (CREW) reveals that Donald Trump has spent almost one-third of his presidency visiting his businesses and properties. Newsweek reported that taxpayers funded all of these trips.
Trump has reportedly made 362 visits to his properties since his inauguration in 2017, with 81 trips in 2019 alone.
“The number of days where President Trump has spent time at a Trump-branded property account for almost a third of the days he’s been president,” the report reads.
According to CREW, there are over 2,300 conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s decision to pass on divesting ownership of the Trump business empire before his presidency took effect. In addition, CREW suggests that this number is likely a lower-end estimate.
“This corrupt relationship between the Trump Organization and the White House leaves the American public in the dark about whether presidential decisions and policy are being made in the best interest of the country or in the best interest of the president’s own bottom line,” said Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s executive director.
Newsmax reported separately that the CREW report also revealed that the Trump Organization has raked in nearly $6 million from political groups. Before Trump ran for president, his businesses never made more than $100,000 from such organizations.
Trump has spent nearly a third of his presidency visiting his business properties at taxpayer expense, report says https://t.co/ugEFTUOHyb— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 20, 2019
Another notable finding in the report is that 111 foreign officials have made 130 visits to Trump Organization properties. These visits raise the question of how much money foreign governments have paid to Trump via his properties. According to Bookbinder, Trump is using his presidency not only to enrich himself but to grant foreign governments and special interest groups the opportunity to access his administration.
Per The Inquisitr, taxpayers are reportedly paying for Donald Trump Jr.’s lifestyle as well. Politico reported that Trump Jr.’s sheep-hunting trip in Canada included a $5,700 bill at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which suggests that taxpayers essentially paid the Trump Organization.
“Critics say the Trumps are using the presidency to boost the president’s businesses by forcing the federal government to spend taxpayer money at Trump properties,” the report said, adding that although Congress has to investigate federal spending at Trump’s properties formally, House Democrats plan to do so in the future.
Trump’s own spending is under the spotlight as well, as he frequently stays at his Mar-a-Lago resort and golfs at his properties almost twice a week. After just a little more than two years in office, he reportedly visited golf clubs more than 200 times.