There are many reasons why Donald Trump’s presidency will be forever a black mark on American history, but it might be the shameless corruption that animates his administration and his treatment of our government as his personal patronage distributor that brings the office of the President to its deepest new low.
Just days after it was discovered that one of the president’s Mar-a-Lago club members was selling off access to the president to mysterious foreign bidders, POLITICO is reporting that the president tucked away a gift for one of his golf buddies in the federal budget.
Hidden in the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal released on Monday was a $20 million allocation for a mobile children’s hospital project at Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, which is named after the golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Nicklaus lobbied the president for the funds during their last golf game, who then personally directed the Health and Human Services Department to make sure the funding for his golf buddy and business partner was in there.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 11, 2019
While it’s hard to get too upset about funds for a mobile children’s hospital, the idea that the president is handing out tens of millions of dollars to his golf buddies for their personal pet projects, no matter how altruistic they might be, must be setting off alarm bells in the offices of ethics watchdogs and government oversight agencies throughout the capitol — especially when HHS officials “haven’t previously seen the need for specialized mobile hospitals for children.”
When you consider that the president has been to one of his golf courses 173 times so far in his presidency — one-quarter of his entire time in office — you realize there is an absurd amount of opportunities for the president’s buddies to ask him for taxpayer handouts, and knowing Trump, it’s only a matter of time before he gets asked for a much more sinister favor.
Today is Trump’s 173rd time at his golf courses since becoming president — nearly 1 in every 4 days that he has been in office. Trump is golfing more than twice as often as Obama. And yet, here are some of the times that he slammed Obama for playing golf when he was president. pic.twitter.com/0wjYAIdBs0
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) March 10, 2019
Original reporting by Dan Diamond at POLITICO.