It’s been a busy long weekend for Donald Trump-owned properties. While the president hit the links and tweeted away the weekend at his Virginia golf resort, Vice President Mike Pence flew halfway around the world and stayed at Trump’s Doonbeg estate on the West coast of Ireland—despite it being some three hours away from his scheduled meetings in Dublin with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
And why, you ask, was Pence staying at a conspicuously inconvenient Trump resort rather than in the actual city he’s supposed to be visiting? According to Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short, Trump offered the “suggestion” that Pence stay at his property because “it’s a facility that could accommodate the team.”
“It wasn’t like a, ‘you must,’” Short insisted. “It wasn’t like, ‘you have to.’”
Just a friendly recommendation between colleagues with little regard for geographic realities or the taxpayer expense that comes with shuttling the vice president to the other side of the country. How thoughtful!
But lest you worry that the American public will be footing Pence’s entire stay at Doonbeg, however, let me put your fears to rest: Pence will, it turns out, be personally paying into the president’s coffers for the privilege of bringing his family along, Short also said.
Presidential property grift aside, Pence’s Ireland visit also marked a bizarre opportunity for the Veep’s team to emphatically defend their boss in the face of his long, well-documented history of homophobia—a fact Pence spokesman Judd Deere insisted couldn’t possibly be true because he met with the Irish prime minister, who happens to be gay.
Nothing quite like an official diplomatic meeting with a duly elected foreign head of state to rebut that pesky lifetime of homophobia, I guess.