At Donald Trump’s suggestion, Mike Pence is staying at Trump’s golf resort during his trip to Ireland, but the fact that Trump suggested it doesn’t mean he’s picking up the tab. Nope, it’s just one more case in which Trump got the U.S. government to direct profits Trump’s way.
According to Pence’s chief of staff, Trump didn’t issue a “command,” but he did make a “suggestion” that Pence stay at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, where Pence’s family originally came from and where he wanted to go to connect with his roots or some such. And Pence took that suggestion, using Doonbeg as his home base for meetings in Dublin, 180 miles away. Instead of going directly to Dublin, Pence flew into Shannon Airport, where he used an airport lounge for a meeting with Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, then spent the night in Doonbeg before driving and flying to Dublin for Tuesday’s meetings.
So, basically, Pence’s “reconnect with my roots” initiative and Trump’s “send business to my hotel” initiative defined Pence’s trip rather than the actual business of government. But hey, as a White House aide bragged, Pence’s homophobia didn’t cause him to refuse to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner, Dr. Matthew Barrett. I guess that means we’re supposed to congratulate Pence for clearing the “willing to meet with heads of state” bar for the vice presidency.