President Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago, the exclusive resort he owns in Palm Beach, Florida have cost taxpayers roughly $60 million so far. But by continuing to patronize his own property, Trump has also pocketed $400,000, according to The Washington Post.
That obviously raises all sorts of ethical concerns that the White House has chosen to ignore. But stories about access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago raised a whole new spate of concerns. The Miami Herald and Mother Jones reported that an entrepreneur from China, who is a former massage parlor owner, has been selling access to Trump and his family at Mar-a-Lago.
From The Washington Post:
It’s obviously useful for Mar-a-Lago to have Trump drop in at events on occasion — meaning that it’s indirectly valuable to Trump as well, given that he still owns the place. But it’s not Trump’s attendance at public fundraisers that really ought to raise eyebrows. It’s the rest of the time he spends chatting up whoever happens to be there. The time he spends greeting and schmoozing with the unidentified people who have paid him money to access the “winter White House.”
We got a vivid example of this over the weekend. Mother Jones magazine reported that a woman named Li Yang had been advertising her ability to get access to Trump — via Mar-a-Lago.
Not to mention all the off-the-books meetings Trump holds with guests of the club who hope to curry favor with the president.