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Trump Earned $82 Million From Properties in Scotland and Ireland While President

A watchdog group called the income Trump made from his properties while in office “extraordinary conflicts of interest.”

Former President Donald Trump arrives at the Trump Turnberry Golf Courses, in Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland on May 2, 2023.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit government watchdog group, reported this week that former President Donald Trump, while serving in office, made $82.5 million from his properties in Ireland and Scotland — personal business earnings that “came with extraordinary conflicts of interest,” the organization wrote.

Trump mixed “personal financial interests with the national interests of the United States,” CREW stated in its report published on Monday, earning around $25 million from his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, and $58 million from his properties in Turnberry and Aberdeen, Scotland, while he was president.

Notably, these properties are considered by CREW to be “the biggest liabilities of his [business] empire.” Neither of his properties at Aberdeen and Turnberry turned a profit for him in the initial year he purchased them, while the Doonbeg property, bought in 2020 while Trump was running for re-election, brought him just over $3,200 that year in net earnings.

Because the properties hurt the Trump Organization’s bottom line (costing him around $300 million to purchase and renovate), “Trump took every chance he got as president to promote them through stays footed by U.S. taxpayers and relentless promotion to the media,” CREW wrote.

Trump’s family members frequently promised, when he ran for president in 2016 and afterward, that his stays at properties he owned would cost taxpayers very little in comparison to other places he could choose, or could even result in costing nothing to taxpayers. “If my father travels, [the Secret Service] stay at our properties free,” Eric Trump once said.

Time and again, that promise has proven to have been a lie, and this latest example from CREW is no different.

Trump charged the Secret Service “exorbitant” rates for rooms and other services while he stayed at his Turnberry property for two nights, between his travels to a summit with NATO heads of state in Brussels and a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in 2018. One example of such ludicrous costs associated with that stay included Trump billing the agency – and ultimately, the U.S. taxpayer – a $1,300 fee for moving furniture.

Trump also made what he described as a “convenient” stay during his time as president at his Doonbeg property while he was visiting Britain, Ireland and France — a claim that was undermined, CREW noted, by reporting from The Irish Times that suggested the stay was anything but practical.

Trump wasn’t the only one who frequented his properties in Ireland and Scotland, which benefited him personally, but other administration officials also did so, including former Vice President Mike Pence and an Air Force crew that was on its way back to the U.S. from Kuwait

“Further reporting uncovered this was part of a pattern of up to 40 stays,” CREW said, with military expenditures at Trump’s property, from August 2017 to July 2019, amounting to more than $124,500, plus close to an additional $60,000 in charges to government travel cards.

Trump also inappropriately advertised the properties, while staying at them as president, hoping, it seemed, to encourage other dignitaries and potential customers to stay at them, too.

The report from CREW highlights how, if Trump returns to the White House after the 2024 election and once again refuses to divest his business interests, he will likely resume using the presidency for his own personal financial interests.

Trump famously refused to divest his financial interests when he entered office, an unprecedented action for modern-age presidents that enabled him to keep earning significant sums of money from the Trump Organization while he was president. In addition, Trump also broke a pledge not to make new foreign business deals as president, earning around $160 million in international business deals, and creating enormous conflicts of interest when it came to his administration’s foreign policy objectives.

In total, Trump earned around $1.6 billion from his business ventures while serving as president, a separate CREW report noted in February 2021.

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