Monday, May 8, 2017

Politico — Trump busting presidential norms with weekend getaways

“Think of this as the scam presidency... It often seems just another way to advertise and promote the Trump empire of clubs, hotels, golf courses, and the like whose value has soared in these early months of his term as he sets records for being away from Washington and at the places where the world that matters most to him is: the Trump brand properties. Here are excerpts from a Politico report on what's truly important to this president,” — TomDispatch

Politico: "Forget the occasional skeet shooting trip to Camp David or golf outing at Andrews Air Force Base. President Donald Trump has established a new normal for a commander in chief’s leisure time by spending his 14th consecutive weekend at one of his gold-plated properties.

"With this weekend’s trip to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump will have spent eight of his 16 weekends as president away from Washington, and will have visited various Trump Inc. sites 30 different times since the inauguration.

"The convention-busting pattern has attracted heavy criticism, with Democrats questioning Trump’s productivity during his “working weekends” and demanding answers about skyrocketing taxpayer bills for travel and security. The frequent visits to Trump’s own properties have also raised questions about whether the president is inappropriately boosting his brand.

"And Trump doesn’t appear immune to the grief he’s getting. Hours after settling into his Bedminster resort on Thursday night, the president tried to justify yet another weekend getaway.

“Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C., I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend. Also saves country money!” the president posted on Twitter Friday morning.

"Congress conceded this week there’s little it can do to stop Trump, earmarking $61 million in the omnibus spending bill that the president signed into law on Friday to reimburse local governments in New York, South Florida, New Jersey and Northern Virginia for overtime police work while Trump has spent down-time since the election in their areas. The law also includes $23 million for the Secret Service to begin major security makeovers at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, Bedminster and other popular presidential properties....

"Trump’s critics are urging him to slow down on the travel away from Washington and have seized on the hypocrisy of a man who last year attacked former President Barack Obama by saying, "If you’re at the White House and you have so much work to do, why do you fly? Why do you leave so much? You think you’d want to work, work, work."

‘The guy is squeezing the presidency of every drop of promotional juice he can get out of it,’ said Norm Eisen, the former Obama White House ethics lawyer.

AP Photo
Trump busting presidential norms with weekend getaways

By Darren Samuelsohn