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Common Cause Files Ethics Complaint Over State Department Promotion of Trump Mar-a-Lago Club

April 25, 2017

Today, Common Cause filed a complaint with the office of Government Ethics and the U.S. Department of State calling for an investigation into the latter’s publication of an article promoting Mar-a-Lago, which the article refers to as the ‘Winter White House’ owned and operated by President Trump as a private club. The ethics complaint concerns an article the State Department’s ShareAmerica website published profiling the history of the Trump property and describing the Palm Beach club—which doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 after his election—in glowing terms. The article was subsequently circulated by multiple U.S. embassies, including on the website of the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom and on the Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Albania. Federal ethics rules prohibit government employees from endorsing “any product, service or enterprise.”

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