Sen. Elizabeth Warren has accused President Trump of "enriching" himself and his family after allegedly "proposing" Vice President Pence stay at Trump International Golf Club in Downbeg on his recent trip to Ireland.
Warren, D-Mass., One of the Democrats who wants to remove Trump in 2020, sent a letter to the State Department Thursday, asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to transfer all communications between his office and Pence or someone another in the White House involved in planning a trip to Ireland.
Speaking from Dublin on Tuesday, Pence said his decision to stay at the hotel was "logical", noting that he had family ties with the village. Some Democrats have argued that taxpayer dollars have been used to benefit Trump's business, noting that Doonbeg is located nearly 200 miles from where the vice president holds formal meetings with Irish leaders.
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Warren writes in his letter that the reports on the agreement and "the extent to which the president could potentially benefit financially from the taxpayers with this visit …" and she asked the State Department, which specifically knew and approved the request for accommodation.
Pence said he cleared the decision with the State Department and "they approved us to stay there" before booking his stay at the Trump Hotel in Doonbeg, a move that
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., A member of the Senate House Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, similarly sent a letter to Pence on Thursday requesting more information on the cost of his stay in Doonbeg, including comparative rates for hotels in Dublin.
Peters writes that he has "serious concerns about wasteful expenses and potential conflicts of interest related to taxpayer funding from travel by this administration," adding that he "is further concerned by the apparent conflict of interest in your decision to stay in a property owned by President Trump, which risks using taxpayer funds to profit directly from the president. "
Pence's great-grandmother grew up in Doonbeg. The vice president said he was "pleased to have the opportunity to return to his family's hometown."
Pence Chief of Staff Mark Short insisted that the Vice President's office follows a "normal protocol" for booking a trip, but said Trump made the "proposal."
"It's like when we went through the journey, it's like, well, he goes to Doonbeg because that's where he is from the Pence family. It's like, 'Well, you have to stay in my place,' "Short said Tuesday. "It wasn't like, 'You have to. "It wasn't like, 'You have to.' This is a facility that can accommodate the team. "
Trump denied his proposal at all, saying on Wednesday that he had never spoken to the Vice President on the matter.
He added," I am not proposing anything. "
Briefly stated in a statement," In neither at one point, the president did not direct our office to stay at his resort in Doonbeg, and any reporting to the contrary is incorrect. " an hour when Pence is on board, the Associated Press reported.
Pence personally covered the travel expenses for his mother and his sister who traveled with him, Short said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.