Mike Pence and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House in Dublin on Tuesday. Sam Boal/
mike pence

Democrats investigate Pence stay at Trump's Doonbeg hotel

Pence has defended as “logical” his decision to stay at Doonbeg.

THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT Committee in the United States is investigating Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay at the golf resort in Doonbeg owned by President Donald Trump. 

Pence stayed at Doonbeg resort last weekend, 290 kilometres from Dublin, during his two-day trip to Ireland. 

Pence’s spokesman said they decided to stay at the Trump International Golf Links at the “suggestion” of the president, rather than using a hotel in Dublin.

Democrat Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said it appeared that Trump was profiting personally on the Vice President’s trip, given all the government funds spent at the resort to house his sizable entourage.

“The committee does not believe that US taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” Cummings said in a statement. 

Cummings said the bill for the trip could be “significant,” given the estimated $3.6 million (€3.2 million) of taxpayer money spent when Trump stayed at the Doonbeg resort in June.

It was the second probe opened in the past two weeks of the White House’s official use of the President’s properties.

Pence has defended as “logical” his decision to stay at Doonbeg. His great-grandmother grew up in Doonbeg and Pence says that he visited the area when he was 22. 

“I understand the political attacks by Democrats but if you have a chance to get to Doonbeg, you’ll find it’s a fairly small place and the opportunity to stay at Trump [International] in Doonbeg, to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel made it logical,” Pence told reporters here on Tuesday. 

“We checked it with a state department, they approved us staying there and I was pleased to have the opportunity to return to that family home town.

“It’s deeply humbling for me to be able to come back to Ireland and have the opportunity to go to the very home town of my mother’s grandmother,” he said.  

The US President resigned as the director of the golf course and resort on 19 January 2017, the day before his inauguration as US President, RTÉ reported at the time. 

The hotel is located around 290 kilometres from Dublin where the official meetings between Pence and figures such as Leo Varadkar and Michael D Higgins were held this week. 

With reporting from © AFP 2019  

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