White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report

White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report
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White House staffers who displayed proof of their administration job are getting discounted merchandise from the pro shop at President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club, Politico reported Monday

The news outlet, citing two staffers and a receipt it reviewed, reported that Trump administration officials get discounts ranging from 15 percent on regular merchandise to 70 percent off clearance items at the New Jersey club.

The discount amounts to the same perk given to Bedminster members who pay a reported $350,000 annually.


Politico reported that the idea to provide discounts to aides originated with the president and his daughter, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ivanka Trump mourns dead in Ethiopian jet crash MORE.

Multiple Trump aides said they were unaware of the discount available to staff, or learned of it only after paying full price for Trump-branded gear.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment to Politico about the discount.

Ethics watchdogs raised concerns about the practice, noting that it amounts to a conflict of interest and is considered a gift if the discount is not available to all government employees.

The Politico report was published on the same day Trump departed from the Bedminster golf club, where he spent the last 10 days. Apart from Twitter, the president made few public appearances during his New Jersey vacation, though he golfed with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamJudiciary chairman issues subpoena for full Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week MORE (R-S.C.) and hosted dinners with supporters and business leaders. 

Trump has faced scrutiny from Democrats and ethics watchdogs for his refusal to fully divest from his family business. Instead, he has placed his assets in a trust controlled by his sons, Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpLara Trump to 'Fox & Friends': Trump 'one of the greatest presidents we've ever had' Eric and Lara Trump expecting their second child Trump golf course paid late California taxes following newspaper's inquiry: report MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpHillicon Valley: Cyber, tech takeaways from Mueller report | Millions of Instagram passwords exposed internally by Facebook | DHS unrolling facial recognition tech in airports | Uber unveils new safety measures after student's killing Heavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered Mueller considered charging campaign aides in Trump Tower meeting but lacked evidence MORE

Three separate lawsuits have been brought against the Trump administration claiming that the president is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without congressional approval.

Multiple Trump administration figures have been embroiled in ethics and spending scandals in his first 18 months in office. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceOvernight Health Care: CEO of largest private health insurer slams 'Medicare for All' plans | Dem bill targets youth tobacco use | CVS fined over fake painkiller prescriptions | Trump, first lady to discuss opioid crisis at summit HHS inspector general stepping down from watchdog role Ex-GOP lawmaker Handel to run for her former Georgia seat in 2020 MORE and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittFormer EPA chief Scott Pruitt registers as lobbyist in Indiana We're not effectively protecting Americans from measles, air pollution or food poisoning The problem for Trump appointees MORE both resigned amid complaints that included allegations of improper use of taxpayer funds.