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 TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' 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.

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Politico reported that the idea to provide discounts to aides originated with the president and his daughter, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill 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 GrahamSecond ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' 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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race Trump Jr. rips Teen Vogue for sex work op-ed: 'Nothing is sacred to these sickos' MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race Trump lashes out at Democrats over Hope Hicks testimony 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 PriceDemocrats constantly overlook conservative solutions to fix our broken health care Democrats constantly overlook conservative solutions to fix our broken health care Overnight 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 MORE and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittTrump directs agencies to cut advisory boards by 'at least' one-third Trump directs agencies to cut advisory boards by 'at least' one-third Overnight Energy: Former EPA chiefs say Trump has abandoned agency's mission | Trump in Iowa touts ethanol and knocks Biden | Greens sue Trump over drilling safety rollbacks | FDA downplays worries over 'forever chemicals' MORE both resigned amid complaints that included allegations of improper use of taxpayer funds.