The U.S. State Department paid more than $77,000 to President Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland ahead of his trip there last weekend, The Scotsman reports. Federal spending records cited by the publication show the loss-making club received $7,670 from the U.S. government in April, followed by an additional $70,000 prior to Trump’s arrival ahead of his Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The payments were made for “hotel rooms for a VIP visit.” The president handed over control of his businesses to his sons upon taking office, but still retains ownership of hotels and golf courses, including Turnberry, a fact that critics say allows him to use the presidency to generate profits for himself. Prior to his arrival at Turnberry last weekend, the president managed to repeatedly plug the resort in a spate of public appearances in the U.K. “This is part of a pattern with this president of really doing everything he can to disgrace the office of the presidency by promoting his own private business interests,” Stephen Spaulding of the public-interest group Common Cause said of the payments.
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