Now that Donald Trump is running the country, his two sons have taken over his business, and while ethics lawyers are declaring that President Trump has not sufficiently separated himself from his business, that hasn’t stopped the sons from carrying on their father’s work in real estate. It’s very likely that for the next four years, we will see numerous accusations arise that the Trump brand is making ethical missteps. A Washington Post study recently found that Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers almost $100,000 as Secret Service and supporting staff had to accompany the 33-year-old on his overseas excursion.
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Eric was in the South American nation to promote the Trump Tower Punta Del Este, which is expected to be finished in 2018. According to the Trump Organization’s website, the Uruguayan luxury tower is “only property in all South America to bear the Trump name.”
The local media loaded Trump with questions about his father, but Eric reportedly said, “I don’t talk politics.” Kathleen Clark, an ethics professor at Washington University told the Post that the trip demonstrated “an example of the blurring of the line between the personal interest in the family business and the government” since Eric Trump’s jaunt appeared to be more of a business trip than a vacation. While both Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have said that they are going to remain distant from their father’s presidential duties, they have been present at several official functions, including the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, and CNN reported that they were interviewing candidates for cabinet positions during the transition.
Before he was elected, President Trump constantly criticized President Obama for his vacations and declared that the president was wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
Politico reported Friday that President Trump’s weekend trip to Mar-A-Lago, which is being heralded as “The Winter White House,” could have a price tag of over $3 million dollars. However, criticizing presidents and their families for taking costly vacations is nothing new–it has been a pastime of the opposing party for as long as there has been a commander-in-chief. President Reagan was often blasted for his frequent trips to his California ranch (since Reagan owned the ranch, the burden on taxpayers was much lighter). In December, Rare reported on President Obama’s travel bills while in office, which weighed in at around $96 million. Included in that expense were family trips like Michelle Obama’s Aspen ski trip which cost $222,875.58.