Donald Trump 'employing at least five members of his private golf club' in government jobs

President is first in history to award governmental posts to private donors.

Joseph Gamp
Saturday 04 November 2017 17:04
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing the White House for a trip to Asia, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Washington
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing the White House for a trip to Asia, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Washington

Donald Trump has reportedly handed out administrative government positions to at least five members of his private golf clubs.

The US President's financial disclosure reports were published on Thursday and an investigation by USA Today claimed that the entrepreneur grossed an estimated $600million (£458million) in 2015 and 2016 from his private leisure interests.

The publication identified members using news accounts and reviewing a public website that golfers use to track their handicaps.

Mr Trump’s golf course empire revolves around his landmark Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which sees its members pay in excess of $100,000 (£764,58) in initiation fees and thousands more during their membership.

Robin Bernstein, who was this week announced as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, is a founding member of Mar-a -Lago and has been previously vocal about how Mr Trump's 'star power' his presidency brought to the waterfront resort.

Adolfo Marzol, a member of the Trump National Golf Club, was appointed as a senior adviser in the Department of Housing and Urban Development in May.

Mr Marzol’s spokesman, Jerry Brown, said he joined the club before Mr Trump purchased it in 2009 and that his membership had nothing to do with his government employment.

"The department is not concerned about health clubs or golfing clubs people have belonged to for 20 years," Mr Brown told USA Today.

Trump has reportedly employed members of his high rolling Mar-a-Lago club and golf coursen resorts into high government positions (JoeRaedle/Getty Images)

"We consider that to be their private business."

Barry Nigro, another member of Trump’s golf club in Washington, was named as second in command in the Department of Justice’s antitrust arm.

However, Mr Nigro claims his club membership had no influence on his position in government. He also claimed that he had seen Mr Trump "once or twice while playing" but had not spoken to him directly

Other goverment figures who are also Mar-a-Lago club members include White House public liaison assistant Andrew Guilliani, the brother of former New York Mayor Rudi Guilliani and newly appointed Ambassador to The Vatican, Callista Gingrich, who is also a member of Mr Trump's Northern Virginia golf club.

It is not the first time the President has faces accusations of impropriety over his appointment of members of his cabinet – namely after he appointed members of his own family to head up government departments - nor is it the first time that a party supporter or donor has landed a government job.

But the nomination of private club members is the first time in US history that a president has awarded governmental posts to private donors.

According to former ethics lawyer for George W Bush, Richard Painter, there is no specific rule that prohibits a member of a private club to work for the President’s administration.

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