- Vice President Mike Pence has elected to stay at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg while visiting Ireland this week, despite having to fly more than 100 miles to attend meetings in Dublin.
- Pence flew from the west coast to the east coast of Ireland to meet with the Irish president and prime minister and various business leaders today. He’s slated to fly back to stay a second night at Trump’s resort.
- Pence’s chief of staff said the choice of accommodation was made at Trump’s “suggestion,” and Pence and his team won’t stay for free.
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Vice President Mike Pence has elected to stay at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg while visiting Ireland this week, despite having to fly more than 100 miles to attend meetings in Dublin.
Pence arrived in Ireland on Monday and spent the night at the resort, Irish broadcaster RTE reported. He flew from Doonbeg on Ireland’s west coast to Dublin on its east coast to meet with Ireland’s president and prime minister along with various business leaders today, according to his public schedule. He’s slated to fly back and stay a second night at Trump’s property.
The choice of accommodation was made at Trump’s “suggestion,” Pence’s chief of staff, Mark Short, said on Tuesday. The State Department signed off on the trip, he added, and Pence and his team aren’t staying for free.
Trump’s club is the “one facility” near Doonbeg that can house Pence’s team, Short said. Pence plans to have dinner at a local restaurant owned by a distant cousin tonight. The politician worked behind the restaurant’s bar during his first visit to Ireland in the 1980s, the Irish Times reported.
Trump also stayed at his Doonbeg resort during his visit to Ireland and France in June. He has been accused of promoting his personal business by frequenting his golf clubs and resorts, and cashing in on the presidency by charging his entourage to stay at his properties.
The president has also been criticised for accepting payments from foreign dignitaries who stay in his hotels – a potential violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution that bans the president from accepting gifts from foreign governments.
Booking a suite at Trump’s Doonbeg resort costs upwards of €300 ($US328) a night, according to its website.
Pence travelled to Poland in Trump’s stead after the president decided to remain in the US as Hurricane Dorian threatened to batter several US states. Trump played golf at his course in Virginia on Monday – his 227th day at one of his golf clubs since the start of his presidency, according to CNN. He also attacked “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing on Twitter.
The vice president’s choice of accommodation has attracted substantial backlash on Twitter.
“While the president is making appearances at his Virginia golf club, the vice president is making appearances at his Ireland golf club,” government watchdog Citizens for Ethics tweeted. “Because the priority is always making Trump money.”
“The VP is staying a 3 hour drive from Irish capital, necessitating costly helicopters, all so that his visit to Ireland can put cash in the boss’s pocket,” David Frum, a senior editor at the Atlantic and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, tweeted. “Normal federal employees go to prison for such schemes.”