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 Trump’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.

{mosads}Politico reported that the idea to provide discounts to aides originated with the president and his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

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 Graham (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 Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

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 Price and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt both resigned amid complaints that included allegations of improper use of taxpayer funds.

Tags Bedminster golf course discounts Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Eric Trump Ivanka Trump Lindsey Graham Scott Pruitt Tom Price White House staff
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