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Ex-ethics chief: Trump ‘Southern White House’ tweet part of attempt to monetize presidency

Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub on Saturday criticized President Trump for promoting his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida as “the Southern White House” on Twitter.

“This reference to the ‘Southern White House’ is part of the campaign to monetize the presidency,” Shaub tweeted. 

“Unlike the Mid-Atlantic White House, you can purchase unlimited access to the Southern White House and its chief occupant if you are willing to pay him $200,000 per year,” he added.

{mosads}Shaub’s comments came after Trump tweeted that he would be watching the funeral services for former first lady Barbara Bush from “the Southern White House,” a reference to his Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Shaub resigned as head of the Office of Government Ethics last summer, and has since taken to frequently criticizing Trump and his administration.

Critics and watchdog groups have argued that Trump is violating the emoluments clause by using the presidency to enrich his family business. After the 2016 election, Trump placed his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

The emoluments clause bans presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments without Congress’s approval.

Trump has faced three lawsuits thus far alleging he’s violating the clause. 

A federal judge last month rejected the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the president of violating the clause.

A New York judge threw out one of the complaints last year, and another is working its way through a D.C. court.

The Trump Organization has said it would donate all profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury. Last month, the Treasury Department said it received a check from the business meant to cover last year, but would not confirm the check’s amount or date.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Eric Trump Walter Shaub

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