The White House is scrambling to defend Vice President Mike Pence‘s decision to stay at President Donald Trump‘s hotel in Ireland while meeting with that country’s leaders – 180 miles away. Pence will be using Air Force Two as a shuttle between the Trump International Golf Resort in Doonbeg and Dublin. American taxpayers will be footing the bill every step of the way for the VP, countless Secret Service agents, and presumably White House aides – with a large portion of the likely multi-million dollar trip landing in the president’s pockets.
One Georgetown professor posted a map showing where Pence will be staying and just how far that is from where his meeting will be:
While in Ireland, VP Pence is staying in Trump’s golf resort. Which is in Doonbeg (red pin).
His official duties are in Dublin, which is literally the opposite side of the country.
Apart from enriching the President, what is the purpose of running up taxpayer costs like this? pic.twitter.com/30QyxI5WXb
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) September 3, 2019
Outrage online has been so palpable Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short was forced to address the scandal.
After the president lauded the resort and stayed there earlier this year revenue increased. Short was asked by reporters if Trump directed his Vice President to stay at the Trump-owned property which is has been facing financial difficulties.
“I don’t think it was a request, like a command,” Short told reporters, as NBC News reported. “I think that it was a suggestion.”
“It’s like when we went through the trip, it’s like, well, he’s going to Doonbeg because that’s where the Pence family is from,” Short said before describing the president’s suggestion. “It’s like, ‘Well, you should stay at my place.'”
“It wasn’t like a, ‘You must,'” Short continued, fielding 17 questions about the Doonbeg decision from reporters. “It wasn’t like, ‘You have to.’ It’s a facility that could accommodate the team. Keep in mind, the Secret Service has protected that facility for him, too, so they sort of know the realities, they know the logistics around that facility.”
Pence’s wife, sister, and mother are also joining him, but The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reports Short says the Vice President is “personally paying all family expenses.”
President Trump has visited Trump properties almost 300 times since being sworn in in January 2017, with taxpayers footing the bill.
In August Trump repeatedly pushed for the annual G7 meeting to be held at his Miami golf resort next year. Hosting such an event would likely pour millions into the president’s pockets.
This CNN Legal Analyst offered his take:
In the mafia there’s a concept known as “kicking up” or “paying tribute” to the Boss – lining the Boss’s pockets to keep him happy. The Boss doesn’t have to explicitly ask; it’s understood.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) September 3, 2019
Here’s what some others are saying about Pence staying at Trump Doonbeg:
This is “tit for tat”. And it’s exactly what Michael Cohen testifies to during Congressional hearing.
DJT says things in a way that lets you know exactly what he expects.
In modern business world its otherwise known as “Harassment in the workplace”. Bullying!
— Al Wayward (@Wayward888) September 3, 2019
Fleecing the nation for privileged white greed
— MikeB (@MBoyus) September 3, 2019
“Not only is federal money spent at Doonbeg, it gives the business a high-profile advertorial platform to attract customers.” I hope you are adding this to emoluments violations in impeachment articles, @SpeakerPelosi . @TheDemocrats https://t.co/dFMUmG2o9o
— Cheryle Johnson (@CheryleJ0806) September 3, 2019
two questions for a congressional oversight committee
1) How much will the decision to commute by air between Trump property and Pence’s appointments in Dublin cost the taxpayer?
2) How much will the (troubled) Trump property in Ireland be paid by the taxpayer? https://t.co/S1s7CzOHWK
— David Frum (@davidfrum) September 3, 2019
Getting Pence & team to stay at the Trump property on Ireland’s west coast & commute daily to & from the meetings on Ireland’s east coast —all to line Trump’s pocket — isn’t just a waste of tax $. It violates the Article II Domestic Emoluments Clause. @RepJerryNadler @RepRaskin
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 3, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence is staying at Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg during his visit to Ireland, even though it means flying 140 miles to Dublin for his meetings.
Because this administration is about nothing if it’s not about making Trump money.https://t.co/8GsVlvzyK2
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) September 3, 2019
wait, the good news is that Pence entourage will be **paying Trump** to stay at his resort? https://t.co/QEcl2bxjTW
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) September 3, 2019
Doonbeg is almost 300km (nearly 200 miles) away from Dublin for those who don’t realize.
Instead of staying in a hotel in Dublin and not FLYING across the country in a helicopter, Pence will stay in Doonbeg, and get Trump paid for staying there..The Trump grift is real. pic.twitter.com/zSk70cMZID
— Zack (@kodkod87) September 2, 2019
What about the Secret Service and choppers and added travel? Taxpayers will cover those. Oh, and by "personally paying" Short means Pence, like William Barr, is PUTTING MONEY IN THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FAMILY'S POCKETS. Turns out there is royal tribute and all Republicans must pay. https://t.co/VcKG0wc1gr
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 3, 2019
#TuesdayThoughts #TuesdayMotivation #TuesdayMorning
Trump’s Doonbeg Resort needs $ so Trump is making Pence stay there. Pence’s meetings are a 3 hour drive so, at tax payer expense, he’s flying AF-2 for 20 minutes back and forth, costing millions. https://t.co/VmQy3muzjb
— Diane Toucan (@DianeToucan) September 3, 2019
— HeyitsLola (@LolaSweet) September 3, 2019
Image via Twitter
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Melania Trump Monetizes ‘Be Best’ in Blockchain-Based Cryptocurrency NFT Art Scheme
Melania Trump has found a way to monetize her time in the White House. The former first lady has launched a blockchain-based cryptocurrency NFT (non-fungible token) art sale in coordination with French artist Marc-Antoine Coulon. She is selling them via Parler, the social media platform that is home to countless white supremacists, white nationalists, and other far-right extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports Parler was “a haven for recruitment and promotion for the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol building.”
In a statement on Parler, Melania Trump says she is “excited for this new venture.” It claims a “portion of the proceeds…will assist children aging out of the foster care system,” but does not describe the “venture” as a non-profit, nor does it say how much of the funds raised will go to help children.
“Melania Trump is pleased to announce the Melania Trump non-fungible token (NFT) platform, which will release NFTs in regular intervals exclusively on MelaniaTrump.com. The first NFT, entitled ‘Melania’s Vision’ will be available to purchase for a limited period between December 16 and December 31, 2021,” the statement reads.
As of this writing the melaniatrump.com domain is offline.
“I am proud to announce my new NFT endeavor, which embodies my passion for the arts, and will support my ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative. Through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster community.”
“A portion of the proceeds from the Melania Trump NFT collection will assist children aging out of the foster care system by way of economic empowerment and with expanded access to resources needed to excel in the fields of computer science and technology,” the statement concludes. “The Melania Trump FT platform utilizes the Solan blockchain protocol; and will accept both the SOL cryptocurrency and credit card payments through MoonPay. Parler is powering the platform.”
Noting Trump’s entrance into the NFT world, Bloomberg News adds, “NFTs became hot this year, with celebrities, sports teams and artists trying to get into the action, and the likes of Ripple and Paris Hilton backing efforts to move the space forward.”
She also posted the statement to Twitter:
Excited for this new venture, which combines my passion for art and commitment to helping our Nation’s children fulfill their own unique American Dream. #MelaniaNFT https://t.co/XJN18tMllg pic.twitter.com/wMpmDDsQdp
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) December 16, 2021
Trump’s ‘Save America’ PAC Raised $75 Million This Year as He Lies About the Election – Cash Pays for His Travel: Report
Donald Trump, the erroneously embittered one term former U.S. president has raised $75 million this year through his “Save America” leadership PAC by lying about the 2020 election, an election he and his supporters, surrogates, and allies falsely claim was “stolen.” The funds, collected the PAC, can be spent in a wide variety of ways, including to pay for the flailing Arizona recount, or similar efforts in other states, but according to The Washington Post Trump’s PAC has not spent a dime on those efforts.
“Instead, the Save America leadership PAC — which has few limits on how it can spend its money — has paid for some of the former president’s travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of the anonymity to describe the group’s inner workings. The PAC has held onto much of its cash,” The Post reports.
“Even as he assiduously tracks attempts by his allies to cast doubt on the integrity of last year’s election, Trump has been uninterested in personally bankrolling the efforts, relying on an array of other entities and supporters to fund the endeavors, they said.”
Commenting on the report, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow mocked the former president on Twitter, saying, “So he’s, like, living off the STOP THE STEAL money?”
Trump and GOP Began Fundraising Off ‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit ‘Within Minutes’: Report
It took Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) just “minutes” to begin fundraising off of what some are calling the former president’s “frivolous” lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
Politico’s Sam Stein posted this text from the joint Trump-RNC fundraising committee:
How you know this is a unserious lawsuit: Trump is already fundraising off of it pic.twitter.com/Njq8VqHAdB
— Sam Stein (@samstein) July 7, 2021
The New York Times’ Nick Corasaniti posted these screenshots from the Trump/RNC fundraising organization:
And there it is: Trump fundraising appeal off his lawsuit already out pic.twitter.com/4KUaokjezH
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) July 7, 2021
“Trump’s baseless Big Tech lawsuit is all about fundraising,” the tech and culture website Mashable reports. “Keep on grifting.”
“After Trump filed federal lawsuits against Google, Twitter, and Facebook for allegedly violating the First Amendment by banning or suspending him from their platforms, the NRCC and NRSC, the fundraising arms of the House and Senate GOP respectively, each sent out text alerts,” Forbes reports. “‘IT HAPPENED,’ said the NRSC – which, along with the NRCC, has spent months hyping Trump’s plans to start his own social media site – adding, ‘Trump announced he is fighting CENSORSHIP by SUING Big Tech companies.'”
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