Donald Jr. and Eric Trump went on an impromptu pub crawl in Doonbeg, Ireland, buying rounds of Guinness for the locals and reveling in the adoration of a village where the Trump family owns property.
“It’s exciting when Trump comes into town, isn’t it?”
The boys checked in on the family business at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, where the president is spent two nights raising questions about the blurred boundaries between his official duties and his private business.
According to The Washington Post,
The question of who is paying for the family members’ participation — and whether American taxpayers will be on the hook — has emerged as an unresolved subplot, with newspapers in Scotland and London scouring State Department databases and reporting on the fancy hotels and expensive limousines contracted by the U.S. government.
During the trip, the Trump children have documented their exploits in Instagram posts — touring Buckingham Palace! observing the aerial flyover in Normandy! pouring pints behind the bar in Doonbeg! — in a modern-day slide show of “wish-you-were-here!” family vacation moments for the public back home. At times, the images appeared discordant with the aims of a U.S. government delegation representing the nation’s geostrategic interests.
“Questions surrounding the family on this trip come from Trump’s decision not to divest from his business and hiring Ivanka and Jared,” said John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, an open-government advocacy group that has sought to document potential conflicts of interest for the Trump family.
It’s not utterly inappropriate for family members to be involved in a state dinner, but are they trying to show they are united and that the business and family interests are the same?We’re always left in doubt about what their intentions are. You can’t say it’s just a family.”
Presidential children raise the public costs of a trip, as they require Secret Service protection, but it is much less clear how many other expenses would be incurred by taxpayers.
Donald Jr., 41; Eric, 35; Tiffany, 25; and Lara Trump, 36, fall into a nebulous category as they are not employed by the government like Ivanka — especially the two sons, said Jeff Rathke, who served 24 years as a Foreign Service officer in the State Department.
“The president remains the owner of the Trump Organization, but his adult sons are running the business. It would seem to me that this would be a classic case where an agency ethics official would have to weigh in on whether it is appropriate for the adult children’s travel to be covered or require reimbursement.”
Donald Jr. wrote in a caption to photos of the event on Instagram,
“Words cannot describe the experience on being here on the site of one of the most significant battles in history.”
White House officials declined to comment.
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Amazing evening in Doonbeg Village. Whenever we come here it feels like coming home and the support from our local friends is heartwarming. To quote local legend Tommy Tubridy when asked by the press if he thought it was safe to say the support for @realdonaldtrump @trumpdoonbeg and the Trumps was 99% in town he said “No that’s not safe to say… it’s 100%” Thanks Tommy. #ireland
(Photo, screen grab; via WaPo)