Mike Pence is making taxpayers fly him out of and back to Dublin so he can stay at one of Trump's hotels.
Mike Pence is traveling 180-plus miles outside of Dublin, where he is scheduled for diplomatic meetings and discussions on Tuesday — so that he can stay at a Trump hotel.
During his trip to Ireland, Pence is staying at Trump's golf course in Doonbeg, which is on the opposite side of the country from Dublin. It is the same resort that Trump went way out of his way to stay in when he visited Ireland in June.
Trump profits from his hotels and other properties because he refused to divest from them when he took the presidency. By staying at the resort, Pence ensures that some of the money from his stay will find its way into Trump's private accounts.
"Not only is federal money spent at Doonbeg, it gives the business a high-profile advertorial platform to attract customers," Huffpost wrote.
Additionally, because of the distance between venues, Pence's choice of accommodation will incur costs for taxpayers.
"Mike Pence will not brave the traffic to cross the entirety of Ireland for said meetings, it must be pointed out... He will take a plane -- Air Force Two -- for a 1 hour 5 minute flight, Shannon to Dublin," Bloomberg reporter Derek Wallbank noted.
The travel arrangements were criticized by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
"Hey @VP @mike_pence: You took an oath to the Constitution, not to @realDonaldTrump. Funneling taxpayer money to @POTUS by staying at this Trump resort is sooooooo corrupt," he wrote.
"Also, I hope you don't encounter bedbugs. Many people say there are lots of bedbugs at Trump properties."
Asked about the corrupt arrangement, Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters that Trump had made a "suggestion" that he stay there. Defensively, Short said, "I don't think it was a request, like a command."
"It's like when we went through the trip, it's like, well, he's going to Doonbeg because that's where the Pence family is from," Short said. "It's like, 'Well, you should stay at my place.'"
Short also argued that the Trump hotel is a "facility that could accommodate the team," adding that "the Secret Service has protected that facility for him, too, so they sort of know the realities, they know the logistics around that facility."
It just happens that "my place" is nearly 200 miles out of the way and enriches Trump. Throughout its history, the Secret Service has been able to protect multiple presidents at multiple hotels all across the world without needing to stay in Trump properties.
And while Pence stayed at Trump's foreign property over the weekend, Trump was simultaneously enjoying himself with a round of golf at his Virginia property as Hurricane Dorian approached the East Coast of the U.S.
Trump has spent at least 295 days at Trump properties in the last 2 years. Pence's stay increases the value of the presidency for Trump's bottom line.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.