US embassy 'promotes Trump's Florida resort'

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
President Trump hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the resort earlier this month

Democrats have criticised a blog post on the website of the US embassy in London about President Donald Trump's luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The blog, published on 5 April but removed on Monday night, details the history of the 114-room mansion, often described as the "winter White House".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden accused the state department of promoting Mr Trump's "private club".

The department has issued no comment.

In her tweet, Ms Pelosi wrote: "Why is @realDonaldTrump's State Dept promoting the President's private club? #Trump100Days."

Image source, Twitter

Meanwhile, Sen Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, wrote: "Yes, I am curious @StateDept. Why are taxpayer $$ promoting the President's private country club?"

State department spokesman Mark Toner was not aware of the post when the issue was raised by the media on Monday, CNN reports.

The blog post says that "Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Florida estate, has become well known as the president frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders".

Mr Trump has hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the resort.

The post also states that Mr Trump "is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it.

"By visiting this 'winter White House,' Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer."

How has Trump done so far?

Media caption,
Donald Trump: First 100 days in 100 of his own words

Since taking office, the president has spent seven weekends at Mar-a-Lago, which he bought in 1985 and turned into a private members club.

His visits have led to concerns over costs and mixing business with politics.

The club has raised its initiation fees from from $100,000 to $200,000 (£78,190-156,380) following Mr Trump's election.

Media caption,
Mar-a-Lago is a private members club as well as the Trump family's winter getaway.

Since Mr Trump's inauguration, Democratic groups and ethics watchdogs have been monitoring whether there has been a potential conflict of interest that could benefit his business holdings while he is in office.

In December, Mr Trump announced that he planned to shut his charitable foundation, although an investigation into its practices continues.