Donald Trump's Stay at His Own Resort in Scotland Cost U.S. Taxpayers $68,800: Report
U.S. taxpayers are footing the $68,800 bill for President Donald Trump's stay at his own resort last weekend in Scotland, which included him hitting the links for two rounds of golf, according to a story Tuesday in The Scotsman.
Trump, his son Eric, and White House staff spent two nights at the Trump Turnberry, paid for with State Department money, the Scottish newspaper reports.
Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based political watchdog Campaign Legal Center, tells The Scotsman that the Turnberry stay "is another example of President Trump using the power and authority of his office to profit personally.
"President Trump not only used the occasion of a state visit to promote his Trump-branded golf course, but told US taxpayers to foot the bill," he added.
The Trump Organization did not dispute The Scotsman's report that the U.S. government paid $68,800 to Turnberry to cover the cost of Trump's visit.
But Trump's family business, reached Tuesday afternoon, did say in a statement emailed to PEOPLE and attributed to George A. Sorial, the Trump Organization's executive vice president and chief compliance counsel, that the company didn't profit from the stay.
"For United States government patronage, our hotels charge room rates only at cost and we do not profit from these stays," Sorial said in the statement.
Eric Trump tweeted that "while not required we have decided that for any United States Govt business, we charge our COST and do NOT profit from these stays. Much more would be spent if they stayed elsewhere."
But The Scotsman's Martyn McLaughlin, who reported the story, said he wasn't accepting Eric Trump's explanation and asked to be shown proof that no profit was made.
"I've spoken with several US journos who cover Trump businesses. None aware of any Trump Org policy not to profit from US Gov patronage at its properties," McLaughlin tweeted late Tuesday afternoon. "So, three Qs for @EricTrump – when was the policy implemented; why wasn't it announced; can you open your books to prove it?"
The State Department referred questions from PEOPLE about the payment to the Secret Service, which has not yet responded.
The White House has also not yet responded to questions.
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Trump has not divested himself from ownership of his businesses. The Scotsman notes that Trump has given day-to-day control of Turnberry to sons Eric and Don Jr., but its parent company, Golf Recreation Scotland, is "wholly owned" by Donald Trump.
The Washington Post reports that the golf club is one of Trump's biggest investments — he spent $205 million in cash to buy the property in 2014 and renovate it. Yet Turnberry has been a money loser, with more than $23 million in losses in 2016, according to The Scotsman.
Trump visited Turnberry after his controversial visit with British Prime Minister Theresa May Friday, and before leaving for Helsinki for his disastrous summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.