Let's all sing the emoluments song (again) today! We can all sing along with the State Department, who now promotes Mar-a-Lago here and abroad as Trump's Winter White House while conveniently omitting the part where he owns it and runs it as a for-profit concern.
Over on ShareAmerica.gov, a website intended to be forward-facing to foreign countries about issues of mutual concern, there's a big fat promo for Mar-a-Lago. This promo not only appears on the ShareAmerica United States website, but also the sites for other countries.
The text of the promo reads in part, "Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer."
Fulfilling the dream.
But Post had even bigger plans for her Palm Beach home. Upon her death in 1973, she willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.
Her plan didn’t work, however. Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter never used the property. And in 1981 the government returned the estate to the Post Foundation because it was costing too much money to maintain.
That opened the way for Trump, a real-estate magnate, to purchase the property in 1985. When he acquired the house, Trump also bought the decorations and furnishings that Post had collected over the years, preserving Mar-a-Lago’s style and taste.
The only teeny, tiny part of the story they left out was the part where Trump turned it into an exclusive club where members have to pony up $200,000 to join. To read this, you'd think he was some kind of historical preservationist who is just living out the dream Mrs. Post had for her Florida mansion, instead of a real estate developer who leveraged a historical site for big bucks.
Just another installment in the ongoing saga of our government for sale. Except it seems to have caught the attention of Senator Ron Wyden, who is not seeing these promos through the same lens as Trump:
Welcome to the Banana Republic Of Trumpistan.