With a Republican-controlled United States Congress asleep at the wheel, Donald Trump and his family continue to blur ethical lines and constitutional limits against using public office for private profit. In just the latest example, Buzzfeed reports paying members of Mar-a-Lago and Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach have been treated to tours of Air Force One.
Two separate tours were scheduled at the Atlantic Aviation FBO at Palm Beach International for 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2017 — hours before Trump held his first 2020 campaign rally less than 120 miles away at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport hangar.
The two tours are recorded differently compared to all other Air Force One tours given in the 14 months after Trump took office, according to redacted government records provided to BuzzFeed News. Unlike the other records, they don’t list an agency name or title of the official in charge of the tour. The listed date for the tours matches up with the date and time listed on the invitation.
Although names were redacted in the records obtained by Buzzfeed, a partially redacted address was confirmed to belong to longtime club members. Trump club members have also been offered ambassadorships in the Dominican Republic and Austria.
Last month, Donald Trump issued a new presidential “challenge coin,” a piece of memorabilia given to military members, law enforcement and others who interact with the president, this one was different from previously issued presidential coins because it featured Donald Trump’s private golf club, Mar-a-Lago. From the New York Times:
Among those produced in recent months by members of a White House military unit is a coin featuring Mr. Trump’s private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, on the front, and the presidential seal, the White House and Air Force One on the back. Another has Pope Francis on one side and the president’s face set against the White House on the other.
Pope Francis cannot be happy about that coin. Another Trump-approved design has one key element missing.
One such design, which was approved by Mr. Trump and paid for by the Republican National Committee, is thicker, wider and more gold than those of preceding presidents, and bears his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” as well as his name — emblazoned three times. Missing was a traditional staple of presidential challenge coins: the presidential seal with the national motto, E pluribus unum, or “Out of many, one.”
What’s next? A presidential coin featuring the 2016 Electoral College map? A presidential coin series featuring top-selling Ivanka-branded clothing? With a Republican-led Congress shirking oversight duties, the sky is the limit.