At first glance, the most cringeworthy moment to date of Donald Trump’s trip to the United Kingdom came when he refused to answer a question from CNN–and promptly took one from Fox News. But as it turns out, Trump may have done something more outrageous than that. It turns out that he got the bright idea to use this trip to woo some business partners for the Trump Organization–and is doing so on the dime of American and UK taxpayers.
It turns out that Trump’s son, Eric, is taking a European trip of his own. He’s visiting his family’s golf resorts in Balmeadie and Turnberry.
However, The Daily Record of Glasgow reported that Eric had a little bit more in mind than just a few rounds on classic Scottish links. The Daily Record noticed that when Eric landed at Aberdeen Airport, about 40 business contacts accompanied him across the Atlantic. They accompanied Eric to Balmeadie before traveling to Turnberry to meet with Donald, who will spend two days there before flying to Finland to meet Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
Can you imagine what would happen if a President Hillary Clinton used a state visit to promote Clinton Foundation interests? Well, let’s take that back. We already know the answer to that question.
Eric said that his trip and that of his father “happened to link up.” However, this trip would have reeked whether it was a coincidence or not. Once again, Trump is making a mockery of his vow to distance himself from his real estate empire while in office. Indeed, it’s the second time he’s done this in less than a month. Two weeks ago, Trump shared a tweet of Gary Player taking in a round at Turnberry.
The Scottish leg of Trump’s trip had already raised hackles in the UK. He has no plans to conduct any official business while in Scotland, even though the UK is paying £5 million (a little over US$6.6 million) for his security expenses. Put another way, Trump is taking what amounts to a two-day vacation on our dime. And he at least appears to be using the power of his office to line his own pocket–again, on our dime.
That didn’t sit well with Richard Leonard, the leader of the Scottish branch of the Labour Party. He slammed Downing Street for saddling the UK with “a £5 million Trump tax while he seeks to further his own business empire.” Leonard found it especially outrageous that Prime Minister Theresa May allowed Trump to stick UK taxpayers with the bill for his Scottish sojourn “while one in four children in this country is growing up in poverty.”
Earlier this week, conservative teen activist CJ Pearson harrumphed that it really didn’t matter what Trump says or does–just that he’s “WINNING.” Well, CJ, here’s more proof that it does matter. We should not even have to ask whether the president of the United States will use the power of his office to unduly favor his own business interests, or if he’s even appearing to do so. And yet, for a year and a half, we have found ourselves asking that question about Trump far too often for comfort.
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