Trump in Palm Beach: Common Cause files complaint over Mar-a-Lago promo

The watchdog group Common Cause has filed an ethics complaint over an online article on a State Department-run website touting President Donald Trump‘s private Mar-a-Lago Club as the “winter White House.”

The article — taken down Monday night — constitutes a “misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars” to promote a private business, says the Common Cause complaint filed with the State Department and the Office of Government Ethics.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

“This Administration’s refusal to set clear boundaries between the business of the American people and the businesses of Donald Trump has metastasized into the federal agencies,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “Not only has the president turned his so-called ‘Winter White House’ into a set for a reality TV show with an audience made up of those willing to pay $200,000 to the Trump Organization, he has set an example himself untethered from ethical standards, beginning with his refusal to release his taxes as every U.S. President has done for the past four decades. It falls to the ethics offices of these agencies to enforce our ethics laws and standards, even if it means running afoul of the White House.”

» State Dept. regrets ‘misperception,’ nixes blog post on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

The White House referred a question about the complaint to the State Department.

A State Department spokesperson responded with the same message posted on the share.america.gov website when the article was removed: “The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post.”

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