Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Taxpayers are paying for a government official's $1,092 stay at Mar-a-Lago

Taxpayers have been stuck with the bill for a government official's $1,092 two-day stay at Mar-a-Lago in March, The Washington Post reports. "The receipt, which was obtained in recent days by the transparency advocacy group Property of the People and verified by the Post, offers one of the first concrete signs that Trump's use of Mar-a-Lago as the 'Winter White House' has resulted in taxpayer funds flowing directly into the coffers of his private business," the Post writes.

Trump-affiliated properties have remained a major concern for government ethics watchdogs, including a case in April when the United States embassy in the U.K. appeared to promote Mar-a-Lago. "Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in [West Virginia] or a single mom in Detroit to pay for promoting Mar-a-Lago?" Hillary Clinton's former national spokesman, Josh Schwerin, tweeted at the time.

The Post adds that in regards to the March charge, "it is not clear whether the invoice stemmed from a one-time occurrence or represented one of many Mar-a-Lago rooms that have been booked at government expense for presidential aides or other officials since Trump took office and began traveling there on a regular basis."

"The choice to stay [at Mar-a-Lago] and have the government pay the $546-a-night rate seems imprudent," said ethics and law professor Kathleen Clark. "If it were not owned by the president, it would still seem problematic. The fact that it's owned by the president makes it doubly problematic." Read the full report here.