On Monday, the U.S. State Department took down an article published earlier in April that read like promotional material for Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's private club in Florida. "The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders," said the State Department's ShareAmerica site, where the article was posted April 4 before making its way onto the official websites of American embassies abroad. The U.S. government seemingly promoting the president's private business did not sit well with Democrats, government ethicists, and many other Americans, but former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a Trump backer, found a way to blame former President Barack Obama on CNN Monday night.
Van Jones started things off, calling the post "outright kleptocracy, as far as I can tell." Conservatives should be outraged, he added. "This is an ad. I mean, you would pay a billion dollars for this ad, it's on the State Department's thing." Kingston said he was "outraged," too, adding, "I also want to point out, this is actually part of a $72 million clickbait campaign that the State Department had previous engaged in, it was not done under the Trump administration, and it's part of what they're trying to ferret out, the waste in government." Political analyst Ana Navarro pointed out how ridiculous he was sounding, and that the Mar-a-Lago post was clearly done under Trump, and Kingston replied: "You forced me into reminding you, this was left over from the Obama administration — I tried not to say that."
After pushback from CNN's Jake Tapper, Jones, Navarro, and political analysts Rebecca Berg and David Gergen, Kingston shifted to blaming a "low-level blogger" and the bureaucracy. "Look, I'm going to agree with Van — it sounded like a real estate ad, it was stupid, it was taken down immediately for that reason, I don't think it should be up, I'm in agreement with you on that," he said. "But I'm saying the bureaucracy does all kinds of silly and stupid things." Gergen shot that down.