State Department Cuts Blog Post That Touts Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort

Federal executive department apologizes for “any misperception”

Following criticism over ethical concerns, a State Department website has removed a blog post that trumpets President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The blog post, initially posted on ShareAmerica, a State Department platform used for sharing what it describes as “compelling stories,” detailed the history of Trump’s “Winter White House” ahead of Trump’s April 6 meeting there with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The State Department issued a statement Monday apologizing for “any misperception.” “The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders,” the web page now reads. “We regret any misperception and have removed the post.” Ethics groups have warned about the potential conflict of interest presented by the private Florida resort.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pointed to the blog piece Monday, asking in a Twitter message why the State Department would spend “taxpayer $$ promoting the president’s private country club.”

The post described the history of the Palm Beach estate, which heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post donated to the U.S. government in her will in 1973 — 12 years before Trump purchased it.

It was not clear whether the blog post had been vetted for legal or ethical concerns.

The blog post was still up on the U.S. Embassy’s London website, but officials say the post is expected to be removed.