White House story on Pence's taxpayer-funded stay at Trump resort changes again


The White House now claims that Mike Pence's Trump-enriching travel accommodations in Ireland were all the vice president's idea.

The decision to house Mike Pence at Trump's Irish resort in Doonbeg, nearly 200 miles away from where he had meetings in Dublin, has attracted international scorn, ridicule, and scrutiny.

The White House has repeatedly shifted its explanation for why the odd travel accommodations were made.

Now, in a statement released Tuesday night, Pence's team is blaming "misreporting" for the firestorm the story has created.

"The decision to stay at Trump National in Doonbeg, Ireland, was solely a decision by the Office of the Vice President," the statement claimed, adding that the reservation was made based on the "requirement" that accommodations "near the Vice President's ancestral hometown" could be made.

"At no time did the President direct our office to stay at his Doonbeg resort and any reporting to the contrary is false," the statement concluded.

But that is a shift in the administration's own message.

Pence's chief of staff Marc Short told reporters on Wednesday that Trump had made a "suggestion" that Pence stay at his resort. According to Short, Trump told Pence, "Well, you should stay at my place."

"Pence chief of staff told the media that Trump made a 'suggestion' that Pence stay at his club. Reporters reported this. Pence team’s new statement, claiming the decision was solely Pence’s (while conspicuously not retracting the 'suggestion' thing), complains of 'misreporting,'" CNN reporter Daniel Dale noted.

Later in the day, when Pence himself was asked about the trip, he gave another reason.

"The opportunity to stay at Trump National in Doonbeg, to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel made it logical," Pence said.

Staying at the resort enriches Trump because he has refused to divest from his private holdings while in the presidency.

Pence's travel arrangement follows in the footsteps of Trump himself, who has gone to great lengths to use the presidency to give his struggling holdings the kind of publicity few can buy.

The Trump administration keeps changing their story as scrutiny intensifies, and as is often the case, it wants to just blame the media for doing its job.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.