Speed Reads


Trump-Abe trip to Florida raises ethical questions

After a friendly meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House on Friday, President Trump along with first lady Melania Trump, Abe, and Japanese first lady Akie Abe flew to Florida to spend the weekend together at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. The two couples were joined by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for dinner Friday, and on Saturday the two first ladies took a guided garden tour while their husbands played golf.

Though Trump has invited the Abes to stay at the Mar-a-Lago at his own expense rather than asking taxpayers to foot the bill, the trip has still raised ethical questions. "Hosting a foreign leader at the president's business resort creates impossible sets of conflicts," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a watchdog organization. "Why should you go to a resort in Florida? Fine, you want to go to a resort in Florida? Don't go to one Trump's family owns."

Typically, U.S. presidents wishing to spend a weekend with foreign leaders repair to Camp David, the presidential retreat in rural Maryland.

Trump tweeted Saturday about the Florida trip, expressing his pleasure at hosting the Abes, with whom he has said he is developing a "great friendship." He is expected to continue hosting world leaders at the Mar-a-Lago, which his administration has dubbed the "winter White House."