Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, took off on a Trump Organization helicopter to a ski getaway amid the ensuing backlash from the president’s woefully inappropriate Charlottesville response — and taxpayers likely helped pay for the vacation.
"Taxpayers are paying for Secret Service to accompany Ivanka and Jared on their trips and vacations," former President George W. Bush’s ethics chief, Richard Painter, said in an interview with Newsweek. "Because they choose to use a Trump Organization aircraft, you’ve got the problem we’ve been dealing with all along: the government is paying the Trump Organization to protect the first family, when it shouldn’t be."
Officials have called the flight an "unethical move,” yet the Trump family doesn’t seem to be phased, casually continuing to mix business with politics.
The Secret Service spent $137,000 to rent golf carts at Trump properties, and Trump, himself, has stayed at Trump clubs and hotels 96 days out of his presidency.
It “reinforces the belief that they are unable and unwilling to put the public interest before the family business," said Virginia Canter, executive branch director for the nonprofit organization Citizen's for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Trump administration has toured the country on the taxpayer’s dime.
First, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his Barbie doll wife Louise Linton bragged about their riches as they charged taxpayers for their eclipse vacation. While Mnuchin’s $800,000 in luxury air travel was considered legal by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, the reasoning behind this extravagant need was deemed baseless.
Then, in September, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned over his use of a private jet for government travel skyrocketing to over $300,000.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken several flights using a private plane, including a $12,000 trip from Las Vegas.
And Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin went on a government trip to Europe that seemed to suspiciously emulate a vacation as he spent part of it taking his wife sightseeing and shopping.
The Trump administration’s private plane problem demonstrates a clear sense of entitlement. Trump promised to drain the swamp, but it seems like he’s just filling it with corruption and questionable ethics.