Is it unethical for Trump to host dignitaries at properties he owns?

President Trump raised many eyebrows when he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-A-Lago, his private club in Florida, where he was photographed golfing and socializing with other club members. Some critics say Trump hosting foreign...

Is it unethical for Trump to host dignitaries at properties he owns?

President Trump raised many eyebrows when he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-A-Lago, his private club in Florida, where he was photographed golfing and socializing with other club members. Some critics say Trump hosting foreign dignitaries and conducting presidential business in public at one of his properties is a major conflict of interest. Supporters, however, believe as long as Trump makes good deals, who cares where he does them? What do you think?

PERSPECTIVES

Political observers and ethics experts were aghast that a sitting president would take visiting dignitaries to his private property, in what amounted to a commercial for his Florida club. Furthermore, Trump conducted a state dinner in the open alongside club members and posed for photos with guests:

He hashed out a response to a North Korean missile launch on a busy patio, as people snapped photos and waiters cleared his salad. He hobnobbed with members and visitors at the club, making it clear that paying the $200,000 member fee at Mar-a-Lago was an easy way to parlay with the most powerful man on earth. And passerby were apparently able to get close to classified documents and the presidential limo whenever they pleased.
 

But Trump was elected on the strength of his skills as a businessman. His behavior goes against traditional norms, but so did his candidacy, which is why he won. His supporters are in favor of whatever methods he might use to create favorable deals for the U.S., no matter how unconventional, and if that includes hosting visiting dignitaries at his golf course in Florida? So be it.

 

Detractors are furious the president is tweeting the name of his club and trying to brand it "the Winter White House." They say he is using the presidency to enrich his own business, and giving the impression the club members will have access to the leader of the free world.

A working dinner tonight with Prime Minister Abe of Japan, and his representatives, at the Winter White House (Mar-a-Lago). Very good talks!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017

Trump's supporters pointed out he "personally paid" to host the Japanese Prime Minister and his entourage at the resort.

White House: Trump Is Personally Paying For Japanese PM's Trip To Mar-a-Lago https://t.co/aqRswgWOmE
SAVING TAXPAYER MONEY

-- Deplorable Linda G. (@GartrellLinda) February 10, 2017

Managing national security crises from the dining room of his private club struck many as an unethical and dangerous choice.

Photos of Trump and Japanese PM Abe reviewing classified intelligence surrounded by Mar-A-Lago dinner guests are posted on FACEBOOK pic.twitter.com/F8rwLW2Y56

-- Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) February 13, 2017

Before he was elected, it cost $100,000 to join Trump's Mar-A-Lago club. Now it's $200,000.

4. Trump doesn't talk about how he doubled initiation fee at Mar-a-lago in a brazen move to cash in on presidency https://t.co/XbIL27IYSt

-- Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 29, 2017

Other have no issue with Trump's choices. Many presidents have traveled and done business at the same time.

Pres & Mrs Trump, Chief of Staff @Reince and others at Super Bowl Watch Party at Trump Golf Club. (Pool photo by @HorsleyScott) pic.twitter.com/FrVrcOIEox

-- Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 6, 2017

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