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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democratic senators want Trump to release names of Mar-a-Lago members

3

February

WASHINGTON - Two senators want the President Trump to release a list of members at Mar-a-Lago, “to dispel any suspicions that access to you can be purchased by a private club membership fee.”

Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Tom Udall of New Mexico wrote a letter to Trump, noting the membership fee at the Palm Beach resort has doubled to $200,000 since Trump became president.

Dear President Trump:

Recent press reports indicate that the membership fee at the Trump Organization’s Mar-a-Lago Club has doubled to $200,000.  Presumably demand for memberships has increased dramatically since you were elected President with the expectation that a membership at your Club will offer special access to you when you are there.  Indeed, as of today, the “Private Membership” page on the Mar-a-Lago Club website still refers to it “Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club,” and you are renowned as being a gracious, and present, host for all Club guests.

At $200,000, the Mar-a-Lago membership fee is financially out of reach for all but the wealthiest Americans and international elites.  These aren’t the hardworking Americans you’ve long said have been “forgotten” and need to be heard once again in Washington.  Mar-a-Lago members are the same class of ultra-rich that you’ve nominated to your Cabinet and surrounded yourself with at the White House.  Your Winter White House will provide an audience with you for those who can afford it, not to mention an increasing cash-flow into your family-run organization.  Instead of draining the swamp, it appears you’re bringing Washington right to the swamps at Mar-a-Lago.

You can dispel any notion that Mar-a-Lago is a private refuge for pay-to-play politics by doing the following:

    Make public the Mar-a-Lago membership list
    Make public the names of members and other visitors to Mar-a-Lago who are there when you are in residence
    Explain what you are doing to screen Mar-a-Lago members to ensure none present security risks to you
    Explain what you are doing to screen Mar-a-Lago members to determine whether any have ties to foreign governments or other entities that seek to influence you or United States policy

Now that you are President, you have an obligation to dispel any suspicions that access to you can be purchased by a private club membership fee.  Making these records public and transparent, and vetting people who have access to you, are straightforward steps that all Americans can support. 

[Last modified: Friday, February 3, 2017 2:45pm]

    

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