President Donald Trump has promoted his businesses, on average, once every five days since entering the White House nearly three years ago, data compiled by a Washington ethics watchdog shows.
According to CREW, which is tracking the president’s many conflicts of interest, Trump has promoted his businesses on 217 occasions since coming to office back in January 2017. The president has, at the time of writing, held office for 1,011 days. That’s a 4.66 average.
Among those occasions were 81 promotions of his golf courses, 39 promotions of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, 29 promotions of his old reality TV show The Apprentice, 29 promotions of his international properties, and 35 promotions of Trump Tower.
What’s more, the number of promotions by both Trump and his White House officials is, according to CREW, rising sharply as the 2020 election approaches. There were 59 promotions of Trump properties in 2017. In 2019 to date, there were 159 promotions, a rise of 144 percent.
The White House did not respond immediately to Newsweek‘s request for comment.
When Trump came to power he faced calls to place all his businesses and commercial interests into a blind trust while he held the presidency, which would have been run completely independently of him, and denied him control of its affairs and access to any information.
It is common for presidents and others who take public office to place their commercial dealings in a blind trust while they carry out their public duties to stave off any concerns about conflicts of interest. Trump, however, placed his interests in a revocable trust.
This means he has access to information about the trust’s dealings and can at any moment revoke it. His trust is run by his eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the family real estate business, The Trump Organization.
“President Trump’s refusal to divest from his global businesses when he entered office created the potential for unprecedented conflicts of interest that have since become one of the defining characteristics of his administration,” says CREW’s tracker.
“As a result, one question pervades every action and policy decision of consequence made by his administration: Are President Trump’s actions driven by his duty to represent the best interests of the American people or by a self-serving pursuit of his own personal financial interests?”
Trump often makes public references to his many properties and uses them for official meetings. At the start of his presidency, he referred to Mar-a-Lago as the “Winter White House,” sparking ethics concerns and he has held summits with world leaders there.
Recently, he used his golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, as a base during his visit to the UK, Ireland, and France. A few months later, Vice President Mike Pence also used Trump’s Doonbeg resort for a trip to Ireland, despite holding official meetings on the opposite coast.
During the controversy over Department of Defense spending money putting Air Force personnel up at the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, the president used the opportunity to say the crews “have good taste.”