Politics: Pence's Doonbeg detour cost nearly $600k in ground transportation fees - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsPence's Doonbeg detour cost nearly $600k in ground transportation fees

23:35  11 september  2019
23:35  11 september  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Pence aide defends stay at Trump property in Ireland

Pence aide defends stay at Trump property in Ireland A top aide is defending the vice president's decision to stay at one of President Donald Trump's properties while in Ireland amid criticism by Democrats.

Ground transportation for Vice President Mike Pence's stay at President Donald Trump's Doonbeg, Ireland, resort cost taxpayers nearly $600,000, according to State Department receipts.

Pence's Doonbeg detour cost nearly $600k in ground transportation fees© Peter Morrison Image:

The documents, made available through a General Services Administration database, were first spotted by the left-leaning watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and later reviewed by NBC News.

The receipts totaled more than $599,000 in conjunction with the vice president's stay, which required him to travel back-and-forth between Doonbeg and Dublin, where his official meetings were set to take place. During then-President Barack Obama's three-day visit to Ireland in 2013, the State Department spent just $114,000 on ground transit, paying the same limousine company. The government paid the same company nearly $1 million for Trump's ground transportation during a June visit to the property.

Pence's decision to stay at Doonbeg, Ireland, Trump hotel criticized

Pence's decision to stay at Doonbeg, Ireland, Trump hotel criticized Chief of staff Marc Short said the idea to stay at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, was a suggestion from Trump.

The State Department referred NBC News' request for comment to the vice president's office. The vice president's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pence spent hours in transit — both flying and driving — between Doonbeg and Dublin, located more than 180 miles away on the opposite end of the country. Pence, who traveled with his wife, sister, and mother was originally scheduled to conclude his trip in Doonbeg, where he has familial ties, after attending World War II commemoration ceremonies in Poland.

Pence's visit to the president's property has come under scrutiny, including from House Democrats who are probing the stay. The episode, in addition to recently revealed Air Force crewmember stays at Trump Turnberry in Scotland, has reinvigorated the longstanding debate about whether Trump is using the presidency to enrich himself.

Pence defends visit to family's Ireland hometown, stay at Trump property

Pence defends visit to family's Ireland hometown, stay at Trump property Vice President Mike Pence stayed in a small village where his cousin owns a bar -- and where President Donald Trump owns a golf club.

Last week, Pence's chief of staff Marc Short told reporters that Trump made a "suggestion" Pence stay at the the Doonbeg property. Pence's office walked back Short's comment later that day, saying that Trump did not "direct" the vice president to stay at the golf club and the decision was "solely" made by Pence's team. The following day, Trump said he had "no involvement" with Pence's decision to stay at his hotel.

"I don't suggest anything," Trump said. "I don't suggest it, nor did I with the attorney general, I never spoke to the attorney general about using my hotel," referring to reports that Attorney General William Barr booked a $30,000 holiday party at Trump International Hotel in Washington in December.

"I have a lot of hotels all over the place, and people use them because they're the best," Trump added. "And I know the attorney general is using it, as I read in the paper. To this day I haven't spoken to him about it, but he's using the hotel. And people like my product, what can I tell you, can't help it."

On Monday, Trump again sought to distance himself from Pence's stay.

"I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland," the president tweeted. "Mike's family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family!"

Trump tweets he had 'nothing' to do with Turnberry, Doonbeg visits.
President Trump is denying any knowledge of an Air Force crew’s decision to stop at his Turnberry resort in Scotland, a subject that has drawn scrutiny from congressional Democrats. © The Hill Trump tweets he had 'nothing' to do with Turnberry, Doonbeg visits In a series of tweets, Trump also again denied involvement in the decision by Vice President Mike Pence to stay at his property in Doonbeg, Ireland, during an official visit last week despite his meetings being on the opposite site of the country in Dublin, its capital.

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This is interesting!