The Trump family has been walking a fine line ever since Trump’s election with regard to promoting the Trump brand. Now, the State Department and United States Embassies are promoting Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s privately owned resort, on government websites.
The United States State Department has an entire page on ShareAmerica.gov dedicated to Trump’s “Winter White House.” ShareAmerica.gov is the State Department’s “platform for sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.”
In an extensive profile of the Trump’s private resort, the website gushes:
Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer. [She intended] it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.”
Trump may be attempting to appeal directly to those foreign dignitaries; the Mar-a-Lago profile has shown up on the United Kingdom US Embassy page and even on Albania’s US Embassy Facebook page. The advertising of Trump’s privately owned resort raises yet more concerns about Trump’s conflicts of interest. FEC filings show that, since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has funneled over $14 million back into Trump owned properties.
While Americans have long decried Trump’s blatant profiteering, only recently have Congressional representatives – on both sides of the aisle – expressed concern. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted today:
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) April 24, 2017
Trump has famously claimed that he is not a politician, but a businessman. As such, he is not, nor was he ever, looking out for the best interest of the United States, but rather his own Trump brand. It should come as no surprise, then, that he has shamelessly appropriated taxpayer funded government entities to promote his own company. He may say “America First,” but that comes only after the Trump Organization.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.