Would Donald Trump using his position as president to further his personal gain surprise anyone? At this point, hopefully not. But that doesn’t make his tweet promoting his Scotland golf course any less egregious.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted about his golf course in Scotland, asserting that it “furthers U.K. relationship!” In typical Trump hyperbole, he notes that it is “perhaps the greatest golf course anywhere in the world.”
Even before we get into the details of the golf course, the tweet reeks of self-promotion. It isn’t subtle anymore, if it ever was. If all was rainbows and sunshine with the course, this sort of tweet would still be inappropriate, ethically speaking.
But of course, it’s Trump, so nothing about his tweet reflects the reality of the situation.
At the shock of absolutely no one, people who are actually impacted by the golf course are not as pleased as Trump’s tweet would suggest. As reported by the Washington Post, the course has lost money each year Trump has managed it (going back to 2012), and employs less than 100 people. This is a big deal because Trump ensured the club that he’d create a whopping 6,000 jobs in the local community. The difference in those numbers is laughable until you remember that real people counted on it and were drastically let down.
And now he’s using his social media account to promote the golf course... Meaning he’s using his position and power as president in favor of his personal gains.
Remember, this is far from the first time Trump’s adamant refusal to fully divest from his business interests has been an issue. In fact, his refusal to do has been an ethical issue since early in his campaign.
And that great “relationship” his tweet implies? Not quite. For example, the Aberdeenshire golf club has just been ordered to pay legal fees on behalf of the Scottish government. Why? Oh, because Trump tried to block the government’s environmentally-apt plan to build a wind farm near the course. He didn’t want the view to change.
Anyone surprised that Trump is fine with building walls, but not wind farms?
Oh, and the people of Scotland? They don’t seem much happier with Trump than most Americans. Last summer, for example, Trump visited his other golf course in Scotland (in Ayrshire), and people literally protested his presence. Lovely.