The post was the latest example of what ethics experts have complained is Trump’s manipulation of his powerful office to enrich himself and his family. His businesses can also serve as a conduit for money to Trump from those currying favor with him in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. The clause prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments and officials. Unlike other presidents, Trump has refused to divest from his businesses.
The president retweeted to his 62 million Twitter followers a post from the Trump Organization about what it termed the “Trump Triangle” — golf courses in Turnberry and Aberdeenshire in Scotland, and in Doonbeg, Ireland, where Trump traveled in June after a state visit to London. Trump reportedly had insisted that Ireland’s prime minister meet with him at his golf course, but the Irish leader refused the spot as “unseemly,” according to a representative. The men met instead at a Shannon Airport lounge.
The plug retweeted by Trump hails his businesses as “three of the most spectacular courses in the world @TrumpGolf.” The tweet adds: “Tune into @GolfChannel next week during @TheOpen to catch our latest commercial.” The post linked to a 30-second commercial for the courses. A narrator invites viewers to “visit Trumpgolf.com today to book your ultimate links tour.”
— The Trump Organization (@Trump) July 12, 2019
What I admire most about you is that in spite of your busy schedule playing golf, promoting your businesses, and enjoying the adulation of your congregation at rallies, you're still able to find time to tweet about yourself.
— Gulserene Dastur (@gsdastur) July 13, 2019
Trump pulled a similar stunt in March. He again retweeted a Trump Organization plug for his Aberdeenshire club, and then called it “perhaps the greatest” course in the world. He also claimed his business “furthers U.K. relationship!”
Very proud of perhaps the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. Also, furthers U.K. relationship! https://t.co/3xTzzJH6Iq
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2019
It’s “shameless, corrupt and repugnant presidential profiteering … [and an] invitation to graft,” he added.
Earlier this week the Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an emoluments lawsuit against Trump brought by the attorneys general of Washington D.C. and Maryland. The suit had accused Trump of illegally profiting from foreign and state government visitors at his Washington hotel. But the three-judge panel ruled that the officials lacked legal standing to bring the suit.
Financial filings in Britain last August revealed that Trump’s two Scottish courses posted a combined loss of $6.1 million in 2017 despite investing $190 million pounds into the courses without turning a profit, according to Bloomberg.