Ethics complaint filed against State Department description of Mar a Lago

An ethics advocacy group filed a complaint against the U.S. State Department for its praise of the Mar-a-Lago club.
By Clint Huston | Apr 25, 2017
An ethics advocacy group filed a complaint against the U.S. State Department for its praise of the Mar-a-Lago club.

The Mar-a-Lago club is owned by U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. State Department featured a glowing description of the club on its ShareAmerica website that called it the "winter White House." The blog post also went over the history of the club. The post, which was also featured on the official websites for the U.S. Embassies in Albania and the United Kingdom, was published earlier in April. The group, Common Cause, filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Office of Government Ethics in response to the blog post. Part of the problem, according to Common Cause, was that the blog post noted that the club was open to paying members.

The State Department was informed about the controversial nature of the blog post before Monday. The post was removed and replaced by a clarifying note that noted that it was not meant to advertise for the Mar-a-Lago club; it was only meant to inform readers. Acting Spokesperson for the State Department, Mark Toner, insisted that the State Department was not attempting to advertise for the President as well.

"We regret any misperception and have removed the post," read the note.

"It falls to the ethics offices of these agencies to enforce our ethics laws and standards, even if it means running afoul of the White House," said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn in a statement.

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