Donald Trump has spent seven consecutive weekends during his first two months in office at properties that bear his name, prompting concerns that he is blurring the lines between his presidential duties and his family’s business empire.
Despite pledging during his campaign that he would “rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done”, the President has spent every weekend of his presidency except the first in a Trump-owned property.
Mr Trump spent his second, third and fourth weekends in the job at his private Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago, while on the fifth he went for dinner at a Trump Hotel in Washington DC.
During the sixth weekend into his presidency, he went to Mar-a-Lago again, and the following week visited the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.
Recent reports have confirmed that he is spending this weekend at Mar-a-Lago again — bringing the total weekends spent in Trump-owned property to seven in a row.
The President said before he took on the role of US president that he was passing the business onto his sons, and pledged he would not discuss it with them.
“My two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” Mr Trump said at the time, referring to the sons now in control of the Trump Organisation.
“They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They're not going to discuss it with me.”
But his frequent jaunts to properties owned by his family business — while not a violation of the promises he made about not having a hand in the operation of his old business — have sparked concerns about him and his family seeking to make money from his position as President.
Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics, recently said it was possible that while Mr Trump was splitting himself from his holdings, he would still be able to drive business.
“His sons are still running the businesses, and of course, he knows what he owns. Common sense dictates that a President can, of course, have very real conflicts of interest,” he said, according to CNN.
It comes after calculations by The Independent showed the security and travel costs of the President's trips to Mar-a-Lago could reverse some of the cuts to arts, poor and elderly services in his proposed budget.
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
The services amount to a total of $597m — just less than the $600m security arrangements for the Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits are estimated to cost the taxpayer over the course of his term if he continues to make the visits.
Mr Trump’s frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago contrast with his pledges during the campaign. He told a reporter in 2015: “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done. I would not be a president who took vacations.
“I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off.”Reuse content