On Aug. 29, President Donald Trump cut his Europe travels short, saying he would return home in order to better monitor Hurricane Dorian. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence moved on to take care of business in Dublin, Ireland, but people started raising eyebrows when they realized his hotel is on the other side of the country — and owned by Trump. Since reports broke that Trump first "suggested" the decision, Twitter is calling out Mike Pence's stay at a Trump property, perhaps funded by public taxpayer dollars.
Despite his two days of meetings located in Dublin, Pence stayed at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, nearly 200 miles away, The New York Times reported on Sept. 3. Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short said Trump was the one to make a “suggestion” — "I don't think it was a request, like a command," he clarified — that the vice president stay at the Trump resort. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the subject, but did not immediately hear back.
On Sept. 3, Pence told reporters in Ireland it is “deeply humbling” to visit his great-grandmother’s hometown in Ireland. He evoked his family’s origins in the small town: “For more than 30 million Americans, Ireland is family. And I’m one of them.” Pence added that the State Department approved his stay in Doonbeg and that it was a logical choice given the Secret Service’s familiarity with the property. Short seconded that statement, according to The Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.
But many people found it odd that the vice president would choose to stay, quite literally, on the other side of the country from where his meetings were — particularly in order to stay at a Trump resort. Criticism against the vice president came immediately after the news broke.
In a clarifying tweet, The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said that Pence is reportedly “personally paying all family expenses,” but this did not allay suspicions about costs that would go toward security and aides staying at the property.
Logically speaking, people were unable to see any reason for Pence to stay practically across the country from Dublin.
Many criticized Pence and the Trump administration for the move. Rep. Ted Lieu of California called out Pence, saying “You took an oath to the Constitution, not to @realDonaldTrump."
However, it's not the best look considering the multiple times Trump has been criticized for allegedly using his government role and connections to promote or enrich his businesses. On Aug. 28, Vox reported that Attorney General William Barr will be spending over $30,000 at a Trump hotel for a holiday party, which a Department of Justice official told The Washington Post was because other venues were booked. Trump has also often hosted foreign dignitaries like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, and in August 2019 suggested using his Doral resort for the 2020 G7 summit, an event which would bring the private club a substantial income from the dignitaries, security teams, and assistants arriving. In an Aug. 26 press conference after the suggestion, the president said, "My people wanted it. I'm not going to make any money."
Pence's trip, to be fair, was somewhat last-minute. In a sudden change of travel plans, Pence finished an official trip to Poland as an emissary for Trump and now plans to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on Sept. 5, per The New York Times. The president, who cancelled his own Poland trip because of Hurricane Dorian, is back in the United States and was seen golfing at his Virginia golf course on Sept. 2.
Family connections, professional choices — either way, people are clearly skeptical about taxpayer dollars going towards another stay at a Trump property. Well, Pence will be paying for it one way or another. While the vice president said he will be personally paying for the costs of his mother and sister, who are accompanying him on the trip, Pence will also be paying in time with that 180-mile trip to his meetings. Good luck with that commute.