While the entire country was protesting against President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, one of his sons quietly went to Uruguay on a family business trip that might end up costing thousands of dollars to the American taxpayer.
Long before Trump’s election, his personal business dealings — and that of his family members — raised a lot of questions surrounding conflicts of interest.
However, that debate more or less got overshadowed as Trump began signing a bunch of controversial executive orders immediately after taking office.
As it turns out, Eric Trump reportedly went on a business trip to Uruguay in early January, during which he attended an “ultra-exclusive” party and enjoyed expensive meals as he met with real estate brokers at the Trump Tower in Punta del Este, with the Secret Service detail and embassy staff accompanying him.
The total bill for two nights cost around $97,830. The costs incurred for the Secret Service’s hotel rooms in Uruguay amounted to $88,320.
“This is an example of the blurring of the line between the personal interest in the family business and the government,” Kathleen Clark, an expert on government ethics and law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told The Washington Post.
Again, for emphasis, this trip was a family affair. And somehow, American taxpayers will end up paying for it.
This is exactly why Trump was previously called upon to divest from his businesses instead of simply passing it on to his children.
“There is a public benefit to providing Secret Service protection,” Clark added. “But what was the public benefit from State Department personnel participating in this private business trip to the coastal town? It raises the specter of the use of public resources for private gain.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Shannon Stapleton