Ever since President Donald Trump stepped into the presidential race, his business empire and whether he would distance himself from it as required by law have been the center of interest.
According to experts, it is likely that his business may influence him during his time in office. However, it seems that he is still not able to take the necessary steps to distance himself from his businesses. Now, it has emerged that Mar-a-Lago's guest reception manager is working for the government and is helping to prepare for the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy.
Heather Rinkus, Mar-a-Lago’s guest reception manager, made arrangements to ensure the president has a successful meeting with world leaders at the summit. Although she has no previous experience in government, she reportedly has been issued an official BlackBerry and email by the White House.
An administration source further confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she was officially listed as an advance associate for the Taormina leg of the trip and had government-issued BlackBerry and email. It is still unclear if she is being paid with tax dollars, or if she’s resigned from her position at Mar-a-Lago.
The latest issue has once again popped up the ethics nightmare around Mar-a-Lago and has blurred the line between the president's business empire and the White House. It also shows how closely Trump is still linked to the inner circles of his business.
What’s more, the aide is married to Ari Rinkus, who is a twice-convicted felon. While he was on probation, he set up a car theft ring and then arranged a Ponzi scheme (a fraudulent investment operation). He is also known to brag about his wife's access to the president.
Mar-a-Lago, the "winter White House," is closed for the season.
Although Rinkus doesn’t have any government experience, she might have gained some insight interacting with world leaders in the first months of Trump's administration. Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe there, along with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Rinkus started working for Mar-a-Lago in 2015. But her new role in the Trump administration is sure to raise serious questions.
This Heather Rinkus apparently is on Twitter…got mildly nauseous reading her timeline… pic.twitter.com/wtNRwoNmiz— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) May 25, 2017
Heather Rinkus, the guest manager at Mar-a-lago & wife of a twice-convicted felon, is in Italy doing advance work https://t.co/G5xtbLoJW1— Tarini Parti (@tparti) May 24, 2017
Heather Rinkus, Trump employee and wife of a twice-convicted felon, is in Italy with Trump’s logistics team. https://t.co/vfJfOCKg8S— Jeffrey Vagle (@jvagle) May 24, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters