As of noon Monday, President Donald Trump will have spent about 15 percent of the time he has been commander in chief at a property that he owns or that bears his name.
Most of that time has been spent at Mar-a-Lago, a property he owns in West Palm Beach, Florida. But Trump also has spent time dining at his hotel in Washington (apparently leaking news about the visit to ensure positive coverage) and, this past weekend, at Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia, where he held a “partial Cabinet meeting” on Saturday.
In our analysis of Trump’s first month in office, we looked at the hour-by-hour breakdown of his time. Including more recent visits to that tally, Trump has been at one of his properties for about 186 of the 1,248 hours he will have been in office.
The majority of these visits occurred on the weekends, sometimes stretching into the workweek one direction or the other. That will continue in April, with Axios reporting that Chinese President Xi Jinping will join Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday and Friday, April 6 and 7. (The odds seem high that Trump will remain at the resort for the two following days, as well.)
While Trump has apparently resigned from his positions with the Trump Organization, his association with Mar-a-Lago and the other Trump properties is quite obvious. The resort’s website still offers a greeting from Trump on its “members” page.
Shortly before Trump took office, the new-member fee for Mar-a-Lago doubled, to $200,000. Trump’s willingness to conduct presidential business at the club has raised eyebrows - as well as security concerns. Analysis from Politico determined that each trip the president makes to the club could cost taxpayers at least $3 million.
Since Trump won the presidency, Internet search interest in Mar-a-Lago has increased. It spiked when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited - during which those security concerns were raised.
The visit from Xi will almost certainly earn the club a renewed spike in attention.
As the joke on social media goes, whoever owns this “Mar-a-Lago Club” must be relishing all the attention the president is lavishing on it. If only we could figure out who stood to benefit from all this publicity.
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