Trump Caps MLK Day by Using Taxpayer-Funded Office to Promote Golf Course Renovations

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World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - Final Round - Credit: Getty Images
World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - Final Round - Credit: Getty Images

Donald Trump had something important to say as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day drew to a close on Monday. Since Twitter banned him following the attack on the Capitol, the former president has made the bulk of his announcements through his Save America PAC. This one, however, came on his taxpayer-funded office’s letterhead, complete with what appears to be the presidential seal. It must be something really important, then, not just his a typical attack against Joe Biden or Mitch McConnell or his other innumerable enemies.

“I have just spent millions of dollars on the Blue Monster golf course at Trump National Doral in the heart of Miami,” the statement began before announcing a plan for a new luxury housing development, which he described as the “most exciting” in the country. He closed by claiming that Doral’s golf courses are “setting records.”

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Trump using the office of the president to promote his personal businesses isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it seems especially strange in this case given that he’s no longer the president and could have just as easily made the announcement on letterhead that isn’t funded by taxpayers.

Trump National Doral has seen some hard times. The Washington Post noted in 2019 that the property was in “steep decline,” and the pandemic didn’t help matters. Forbes noted last January that sales dropped at least $33 million in 2020. It’s a safe bet that Trump is the only person in America who thinks slapping some luxury condos onto the property amounts to “the most exciting development in the country.”

Trump’s claim that Doral’s signature Blue Monster course is a “favorite of PGA tour players” is also dubious. The course hasn’t hosted a PGA Tour event since the WGC moved to Mexico City in 2016. Trump responded to the news by writing that he hopes the PGA has “kidnapping insurance.” The course itself isn’t anything special, either, as golf writer Rick Reilly explained to Rolling Stone in 2019. “The reason he doesn’t have a single course in the top 150 in America, even though he says he’s got the greatest collection of courses, which is bullshit, is because he goes too big,” Reilly said of the Blue Monster. “Big greens, big bunkers, big fairways, big waterfalls. The great courses in America — like Riviera, Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach — they have some great small holes, and holes that feel organic to the land.”

Trump’s big real estate news wasn’t the only statement he made on MLK Day. The former president kicked off the federal holiday meant to memorialize the civil rights leader by asking his followers an important question. “Will Morning Joe be canceled?” he wrote before bashing MSNBC. Trump did not mention MLK in the statement, which he at least made on his PAC’s letterhead, but he did manage to call MSNBC host Joy Reid a “racist.”

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