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Trump gets millions from golf members. CEOs and lobbyists get access to president

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Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president, a USA TODAY investigation found.

Members of the clubs Trump has visited most often as president — in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia — include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online.

Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government.

 

The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans.

Among Trump club members are top executives of defense contractors, a lobbyist for the South Korean government, a lawyer helping Saudi Arabia fight claims over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the leader of a pesticide trade group that sought successfully to persuade the Trump administration not to ban an insecticide government scientists linked to health risks.

 

Members of Trump’s clubs pay initiation fees that can exceed $100,000, plus thousands more in annual dues to his companies, held in a trust for his benefit.

The arrangement is legal, and members said they did not use the clubs to discuss government business. Nonetheless, ethics experts questioned whether it’s appropriate for a sitting president to collect money from lobbyists and others who spend their days trying to shape federal policy or win government business.

“I think we’re all in new territory,” said Walter Shaub, who recently resigned as director of the Office of Government Ethics after repeated clashes with the White House. “We never thought we’d see anyone push the outer limits in this way.”

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How many of these members joined this club before he even ran for President?

How many joined because they wanted to belong to a golfing club?

How many joined because this club was the most convenient for them among other choices?

Responsible journalists would concentrate on the above.

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34 minutes ago, TBoneTX said:

How many of these members joined this club before he even ran for President?

How many joined because they wanted to belong to a golfing club?

How many joined because this club was the most convenient for them among other choices?

Responsible journalists would concentrate on the above.

The information you want is private and not available. I feel that common sense and standard ethics should say that the visitors to these clubs during Trumps visits AND Whitehouse visitors should be public record. 

 

Here is how USA today came up with their data.

 

HOW WE REPORTED THIS STORY

USA TODAY set out to identify as many members of Trump’s private clubs as possible. We found more than 4,500 names by scouring social media posts, news stories and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps.

Our reporters then reviewed many hundreds of members’ names and used information available online and public documents such as lobbying registrations, corporate records, property deeds and medical licenses to determine the members' jobs and if they make their living trying to influence the federal government or win contracts with it. Reporters also interviewed dozens of members, though many more declined to comment.

We prioritized reviewing and interviewing members at clubs where the President has spent the most time since taking office. Those are in Bedminster, N.J., Washington’s suburbs in Virginia; and in and around Palm Beach, Fla.

If you are a Trump club member or employee, or otherwise have direct information about his clubs and their membership, we’d like to hear from you. Contact Brad Heath at bheath@usatoday.com or send us a secure tip using the instructions at newstips.usatoday.com.

 

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Boy -- just think if records of White House visitors during Bill Clinton's years were available.

Who knows how many sweet young things were sneaked in?

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2 minutes ago, TBoneTX said:

Boy -- just think if records of White House visitors during Bill Clinton's years were available.

Who knows how many sweet young things were sneaked in?

Uh, I think those records are available,  through Obama.

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20 minutes ago, Il Mango Dulce said:

The information you want is private and not available. I feel that common sense and standard ethics should say that the visitors to these clubs during Trumps visits AND Whitehouse visitors should be public record. 

 

Here is how USA today came up with their data.

 

HOW WE REPORTED THIS STORY

USA TODAY set out to identify as many members of Trump’s private clubs as possible. We found more than 4,500 names by scouring social media posts, news stories and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps.

Our reporters then reviewed many hundreds of members’ names and used information available online and public documents such as lobbying registrations, corporate records, property deeds and medical licenses to determine the members' jobs and if they make their living trying to influence the federal government or win contracts with it. Reporters also interviewed dozens of members, though many more declined to comment.

We prioritized reviewing and interviewing members at clubs where the President has spent the most time since taking office. Those are in Bedminster, N.J., Washington’s suburbs in Virginia; and in and around Palm Beach, Fla.

If you are a Trump club member or employee, or otherwise have direct information about his clubs and their membership, we’d like to hear from you. Contact Brad Heath at bheath@usatoday.com or send us a secure tip using the instructions at newstips.usatoday.com.

 

💥🕶

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