While there is nothing “inherently untoward about such arrangements,” as noted in the Washington Post, there is much ado being made in the anti-Trump media about who foot the bill for President Donald Trump’s family to join their father this week during his state visit to the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately for the cabal, according to a source who spoke with the Daily Mail, his sons, Donald Jr., Tiffany and Eric, and his wife, Lara, paid their own way.
Much of the overseas media was positive in its coverage of the president’s visit, as he presented himself as a strong, competent leader. But the American press was too busy reporting on the baby Trump blimp.
And now that the trip is over and the blimp has been deflated, the media is hitting the president for taking his family along.
For the record, daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are official members of his administration. While separate from the administration, Lara Trump is an adviser to Trump’s reelection campaign.
Which leaves the two sons, Don Jr. and Eric — the president’s youngest son, Barron, 13, stayed home.
More from The Post on the scrutiny over who paid for their trip:
The question of who is paying for the family members’ participation — and whether American taxpayers will be on the hook — has emerged as an unresolved subplot, with newspapers in Scotland and London scouring State Department databases and reporting on the fancy hotels and expensive limousines contracted by the U.S. government.
The focus being justified by drawing attention to the Trump family business and the potential impact there. Upon being elected, Trump handed control of his companies over to his two older sons.
John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, an open-government advocacy group focused on potential Trump family conflicts of interest, spoke with the paper.
“Questions surrounding the family on this trip come from Trump’s decision not to divest from his business and hiring Ivanka and Jared,” Wonderlich said.
“It’s not utterly inappropriate for family members to be involved in a state dinner, but are they trying to show they are united and that the business and family interests are the same?” he speculated. “We’re always left in doubt about what their intentions are. You can’t say it’s just a family.”
The Trump family shared plenty of photos of their “magical” experience on social media.
The sons also joined with their father Wednesday on his short junket to Ireland.
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Amazing evening in Doonbeg Village. Whenever we come here it feels like coming home and the support from our local friends is heartwarming. To quote local legend Tommy Tubridy when asked by the press if he thought it was safe to say the support for @realdonaldtrump @trumpdoonbeg and the Trumps was 99% in town he said “No that’s not safe to say… it’s 100%” Thanks Tommy. #ireland
The family understands better than anyone the scrutiny they face from a media that, at times, appears obsessed with destroying the president.
And it’s likely for that reason alone that critics seem to be barking up the wrong tree.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Daily Mail that the Trump children who aren’t in the administration paid their own way, to include hotel rooms and commercial airfare.
“The president’s family members are allowed to fly on Air Force One but they chose not to, to avoid ethical complications,” the source said.
A White House official also told CBS News, “They are personally paying.”
As for other presidents, the Post noted that in 2013, President Barack Obama brought his minor daughters on a three-nation African tour and in 2002, first lady Laura Bush brought daughter Jenna, who was in college at the time, on an official government trip to three European nations.
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