President Trump spent 122 of his first 365 days in office, or one-third of his first year, visiting his own properties.
Although he had promised to divest himself from his businesses after being elected president, Trump has promoted his properties while carrying out his official presidential duties, according to an analysis by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan watchdog group.
The organization’s study found that 70 White House officials, 30 members of Congress and more than a dozen state officials have visited Trump-branded properties on official government business in 2017; President Trump or his advisers have promoted Trump properties 35 times.
“Every decision President Trump makes in the course of his job is followed by the specter of corruption,” said Noah Bookbinder, CREW executive director. “Because of his steady stream of conflicts, we have to question whether each decision he makes was made in the best interest of the American people or the best interest of his bottom line.”
The press and social media have kept a close eye on Trump’s frequent visit to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which he has branded the “Winter White House.” He has visited that property 50 times, the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach 30 times, and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. seven times.
CREW reports that 70 administration officials made 200 visits to Trump-branded properties in 2017. More than 30 members of Congress made 44 trips to Trump’s golf courses and hotels, including. Sens. Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Bob Corker, Marco Rubio and Lisa Murkowski.
As of today, the website trumpgolfcount.com shows that the president has spent 91 days of his term playing golf at a cost to taxpayers of over $49 million. This is despite Trump’s frequent criticism as a private citizen of then-President Obama’s golf trips. As of Jan. 19, the nonpartisan fact-checking site Politifact said that Trump has taken 44 golf trips while Obama had played 29 times at an equivalent point in his presidency.