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 TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 TrumpTrump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? 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 GrahamGraham: More urgent for kids in Kentucky to have secure border than new school 
 White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Limbaugh calls 25th Amendment discussions 'silent coup' 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 TrumpMandatory E-Verify: The other border wall Trump Organization drops plans to open new hotels amid scrutiny: report Schultz won't say if he will sell all Starbucks shares if he becomes president MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' 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 PriceIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? Former Ryan aide moves to K street Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices MORE and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA to make formal decision on regulating drinking water contaminant | Utility to close coal plant despite Trump plea | Greens say climate is high on 2020 voters’ minds EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Court tosses challenge to EPA's exclusion of certain scientists from advisory boards MORE both resigned amid complaints that included allegations of improper use of taxpayer funds.