Rep. Jamie Raskin slammed Trump for using the presidency as 'a money-making operation.'
Newly released documents reveal American taxpayers had to give at least $5,700 to a Trump hotel in Vancouver, Canada, in 2017 so that Donald Trump Jr. could go hunting with friends.
"Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, flew to Canada for one of his regular visits to the Yukon mountains to hunt stone sheep with friends. He was accompanied by Secret Service agents on that August 2017 trip, just as he had been since his father was sworn in as president six months earlier," Politico reported on Wednesday.
Of course, there was a payoff for Trump too. Trump chose not to divest from his personal holdings or put them in a blind trust when he became president, so a portion of the money spent at his hotels and properties goes to his personal accounts. His sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are also the lead executives at the Trump Organization, and spending by the U.S. government at Trump properties also enriches them.
"The presidency should not be a money-making operation," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Oversight Committee, told Politico. "The president is directing his subordinates in the executive branch of government ... to stay at Trump properties."
Trump has been under fire for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prevents him from receiving gifts from foreign officials, including the money spent at his hotels.
"But Raskin said another clause in the Constitution is being flouted — one that bars Trump from receiving any money from the federal government aside from his annual salary," Politico noted.
In his first year in office, the Secret Service spent $215,254 in tax dollars at Trump's D.C. hotel. The hotel has become a hub for money spent by Republican officials, foreign governments, and other influence peddlers.
That money also helps to enrich Trump and his sons.
Since he took office, Trump has used the presidency to attract attention to his holdings, particularly his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.
When he visits, because of the security needed for him and his family, thousands of dollars are transferred from the Secret Service to Trump's private business.
Trump and his family have an incentive to stay at his properties around the world, because every time they show up, they stand to earn money from American taxpayers.
Published with permission of The American Independent.