A newly surfaced R1 million tab charged to Irish police raises questions about Trump's visit to his Irish golf resort
- US President Donald Trump's golf resort in Ireland slapped extra security hired during his June visit with a bill of over $100,000 (R1.4 million).
- A newly surfaced copy of the bill sent by the resort to law enforcement working overtime shows questionable charges including $975 (R14,000) for extra coffee and over $15,000 (R219,000) for snacks.
- Trump has previously stated that his resorts are easier for law enforcement to secure, a defense he has repeatedly used to justify his administration's stays at his resorts during overseas travel.
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US President Donald Trump's golf resort in Ireland slapped extra security hired during his June visit with a bill of over $100,000 (R1.4 million) for items ranging from $975 (R14,000) for extra coffee and over $15,000 (R219,000) for snack packs.
The Irish Times first reported last month that the Doonbeg resort in County Clare in western Ireland was paid over 100,000 Euros (R1.6 million) for the extra 3,820 police officers hired to protect the president over his two-day state visit. The large contingent of security officers working overtime cost the country over 7.4 million Euros (R120 million).
On Wednesday, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold tweeted out a copy of the two-page bill dated June 6 given to police by the Doonbeg resort.
Among the charges were over 904,000 Euros (R14 million) for the accommodation and food provided to the guards, along with 14,000 Euros (R227,000) for snack bags distributed to police over five days.
Notably, Fahrenthold highlights, police were charged 875 Euros (R14,000) for "additional tea and coffee due to inclement weather."
Trump has previously stated that his resorts are easier for law enforcement to secure, a defense he has repeatedly used to justify his administration's stays at his resorts during overseas travel.
US Vice President Mike Pence also stayed at the Doonbeg property during an official trip to Dublin, Ireland in September, a 180-mile (289-kilometre) detour that cost taxpayers nearly $600,000 (R8 million) in transportation fees.
Following the visit, Senate Democrats began inquiring about the massive detour. Sen. Gary Peters,the ranking member of the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Pence asking for clarification on the cost of his stay, including comparable rates of hotels closer to Dublin, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, alleging "open corruption" by the Trump administration.
The Irish resort was in the spotlight again earlier this month after Ireland approved the Trump Organisation's plans to build over 50 homes and a new ballroom at the resort.
Overall, Trump's properties both foreign and domestic in the US - and the fact that he and other government officials stay at them - have led to questions about the emoluments clause in the Constitution. (Trump called the clause "phony" after he was criticised for a now-kaput plan to hold the G7 summit at one of his properties in Florida.)
Vox summarises: "The foreign emoluments clause forbids the president from profiting off foreign governments, and the domestic emoluments clause limits the president's ability to profit off of either the federal government or a state government."