Pence de­fends stay at Trump prop­erty in Ire­land

The Morning Call - - OBITUARIES | NATION & WORLD - By Jill Colvin

DUBLIN — U.S. Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence on Tues­day de­fended his de­ci­sion to stay at one of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s prop­er­ties while in Ire­land in the face of crit­i­cism by Democrats and good gov­ern­ment groups that he’s en­rich­ing Trump at tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense. He called the Trump prop­erty a “log­i­cal” choice.

Speak­ing to reporters in DubTrump, lin, where he spent the day, Pence spoke about his per­sonal con­nec­tion to the vil­lage of Doon­beg — the site of both the Trump In­ter­na­tional Golf Links & Ho­tel as well as fam­ily his­tory.

“It’s deeply hum­bling for me to be able to come back to Ire­land and have the op­por­tu­nity to go to the very home­town of my mother’s grand­mother,” said Pence. He also had din­ner Tues­day at a pub in the vil­lage where he worked sev­eral weeks dur­ing his first visit to the is­land when he was 22. who owns ho­tels and golf clubs across the U.S. and in Europe, has come un­der in­tense crit­i­cism for fre­quent­ing prop­er­ties he owns and prof­its from.

Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, told reporters aboard Air Force Two ear­lier that the de­ci­sion to stay at the Trump prop­erty was made at the pres­i­dent’s “sug­ges­tion” and that Pence and his en­tourage were not stay­ing for free.

Short said Pence’s of­fice fol­lowed of­fi­cial pro­to­col and re­ceived a State Depart­ment sig­noff. He said the club is the “one fa­cil­ity” in the Doon­beg area able to ac­com­mo­date a group of their size.

Pence, who is trav­el­ing with his wife, mother and sis­ter, had orig­i­nally planned to visit the vil­lage at the end of a trip to Europe, spend­ing a sin­gle night in the vil­lage af­ter vis­its to Ice­land, London and Dublin. But then Trump can­celed his planned visit to Poland be­cause of Hur­ri­cane Do­rian, and asked Pence to take his place. That forced last-minute reshuf­fling of travel plans.

In­stead of mak­ing two sep­a­rate trips to Europe or can­cel­ing Pence’s trip, his staff switched around the stops, so that he trav­eled from Poland to Ire­land to Ice­land to London. Un­der the new sched­ule, Pence is stay­ing two nights in Doon­beg, but flew the hour-or-so into Dublin on Tues­day for of­fi­cial meet­ings, in­clud­ing cof­fee with Ir­ish Pres­i­dent Michael Hig­gins.

CHARLES MCQUILLAN/GETTY

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence holds a news con­fer­ence Tues­day in Dublin, Ire­land.

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