Trump Pushes His Brands Into Presidential Spotlight

In Conflict of Interest On

For Mr. Trump, it was just another weekend with a presidential-size spotlight on his family’s business outlets, a pattern that started during his transition when he drew international attention to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., by interviewing potential cabinet picks there.

Saturday’s stops marked the eighth weekend in a row — out of the 10 weekends he has been in office — that Mr. Trump has visited a Trump-branded property, including his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. White House officials have said Mr. Trump goes to his clubs and restaurants because he is comfortable there, but critics increasingly argue that the visits are priceless advertising and that Mr. Trump and his family are using the presidency as a way to enrich themselves.

“It is normal for presidents to get out — and it can be a boost for small businesses across the city and the country,” said Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a liberal nonprofit group. “But with President Trump, he spends his down time as a walking advertisement for his businesses. It is a major departure from historic norm and degradation of the office.”

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