Eric Trump sticks taxpayers with $97,830 bill for Uruguayan business trip
Eric Trump, who along with his brother Donald Trump Jr. has been put in charge of their father's sprawling international business empire while he is president, has stuck taxpayers with an astonishing $97,830 bill for a recent business trip to Uruguay.
The nearly $100,000 tab for the visit, which may have been as short as two nights, included some $88,320 in hotel rooms for Eric Trump's Secret Service detail and an additional $9,510 in accommodations for U.S. embassy personnel who accompanied them, the Washington Post reported. While in Uruguay, Eric Trump enjoyed high-priced meals, attended an "ultra-exclusive" party thrown in his honor and mingled with the real estate brokers behind the 26-story Punta del Este project, which paid between $100,000 to $1 million for use of the Trump brand name.
It's a clear-cut case of how President Trump's refusal to divest from his businesses and instead simply shift management concerns to his children has created a situation in which "government agencies are forced to pay to support business operations that ultimately help to enrich the president himself," according to the Post.
Despite the president's investments posing an enormous array of potential conflicts of interests, Trump at first proposed setting up what he called a "blind trust" and then later simply settled on putting his two sons in charge. Top ethics officials including Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub have described the move as insufficient to meet basic ethical concerns, while the administration has insisted Trump's holdings are too extensive and tied to the value of his brand name for the president to divest.
Documents recently obtained by the Post show Trump is the sole beneficiary of the trust he set up for his holdings and can revoke it at any time, thus meaning he is continuing to profit from his brand while in office.