Sep 7th, 2017
Trump's golf clubs a haven for lobbysists
Scores of 'interested parties' coincidentally visiting courses when Prez is
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images Styling: GolfPunk
You may have to sit down for this announcement... scores of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government, pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president...
"If you let me beat you over 18 holes I'll give you that fat cat contract. Trust me, I'm a man of my word..."
An investigation by USA Today found that membership for clubs that Mr Trump has visited frequently as president – in particular the ones in Virginia, Florida, and New Jersey –
include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online. Of those, two-thirds have visited a club on a day the President was also there, according to golf scores and handicap updates posted online.
The investigation sheds light on a brand new realm of potential conflicts of interest, since membership in the clubs are kept secret by Trump companies. USA Today found the names of 4,500 Trump golf club members by reviewing social media and public website that golfers use to track their handicaps. The newspaper then reviewed the names to see if any had business in front of the US government.
Initiation fees for Trump clubs can top $100,000, plus thousands in annual subscriptions. The arrangement is legal, and members contacted by USA Today said that they did not use their memberships for special access to the President.
Well, you wouldn't would you...
“I think we’re all in new territory,” Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said. “We never thought we’d see anyone push the outer limits in this way.”
Mr Shaub recently resigned from his post after repeated run-ins with the White House.