An investigation by USA Today found that member rolls for clubs that President Trump has visited frequently since becoming president — particularly ones in Virginia, Florida, and New Jersey — include at least 71 executives or lobbyists with federal contracts and/or interests. Of those executives and lobbyists, two-thirds of them have visited a club on at least one day the President was also there.
USA Today found the names of approximately 4,500 Trump golf club members by reviewing social media and various public websites that golfers use to post their scores and track their handicaps. Then the newspaper reviewed the member names to see if any of them had business in front of the US government. Does it surprise anyone to find out that several of them did? Mar-a-Lago became White House Number Three within two weeks of Trump’s inauguration and if he has accomplished nothing else, nobody can deny he is constantly exploring new and exciting ways to redefine “conflict of interest.”
Even by the watermark we have to use to gauge conflict of interest with respect to Trump, this is kind of a doozy. When broken down to its most basic elements, this means that the taxpayers are paying for the president’s golf outing. If it happens, as it so often does, that the golf outing is at the one of Trump’s own clubs, the taxpayers are paying Trump directly for the privilege of providing Secret Service, since those agents stay on-site (and not free of charge) and that money ultimately ends up at Trump Organization.
Trump International Golf Club – Dubai
Of course, Trump has abandoned precedent by not placing his assets into blind trust, so he could go ahead and move or access funds paid to his company by the taxpayers for protecting him at one of his properties. In addition, lobbyists can gain unique access to a sitting president for which they would have already paid him via membership fees, room rental, etc. This would not include any monies that these parties might have contributed to his campaign or might pledge to any future campaign.