This Week in Conflicts: Trump Plans Expansion of Scottish Resort, Ivanka’s Brand Replaced and Who’s Golfing with the President?


Department of Defense senior leaders attend the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2017. (Image Credit: DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

This week, the Trump Organization has submitted plans to build a multi-million dollar residential community at its Scottish resort, Ivanka Trump’s only storefront has been replaced and the Washington Post is asking for help identifying individuals who have golfed with President Donald Trump.

Menie House, Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Donald Trump Golf links, roadside sign at entrance. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Sagaciousphil)

Scottish Resort Expansion

The Trump Organization is asking Scottish officials for permission to spend almost $200 million to build The Trump Estate, a new residential community at the Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland.

According to ABC News, the community will include 500 luxury cottages and mansions and is raising ethical concerns.

“Matthew Sanderson, a former legal adviser to several Republican presidential campaigns, said the move shows the ‘flimsiness’ of Trump’s pledge take steps to avoid profiting from the presidency,” the article reads. “‘Whenever a property is expanded or changed or upgraded, it raises questions of financing partners and approvals by local government,’ said Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale. ‘It’s not just a real estate deal when it’s the president of the United States.’”

The Trump Organization said this expansion is not a “new deal,” but is the next phase of development in the long-term mixed-use project that was planned more than 12 years ago. According to a news release from the company, this request is for final approval, the company has already received “outline” approval for the expansion.

President Trump still owns his businesses, including the Scotland resort, but his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have day-to-day control of the companies.

Trump hotel Washington D.C. (Image Credit: Flickr user Maxence)

Trump’s D.C. Hotel and Amazon

Fast Company is reporting the Old Post Office in Washington D.C., now the Trump International Hotel, D.C., has become a “prime hangout for corporate lobbyists and foreign government officials who appear to be trying to curry favor with the Trump administration by spending money on dinner, booking expensive suites, and holding corporate events.”

According to the article, rates for corporate events start at $1,000 per day with food and beverage minimums of $4,000. The Old Post Office Pavilion has a food and beverage minimum of $22,000.

“You have multiple levels of potentially inappropriate mixing of private business and the presidency,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog involved in two emoluments lawsuits against Trump, told Fast Company.

One of the companies who recently sponsored an event at the hotel was Amazon Web Services.

“I certainly don’t blame Amazon for trying to get out from under the potential effects on their businesses from attacks by the president,” Bookbinder told Fast Company. “But, when the president has created the situation where companies that want more positive treatment by him or by the administration feel like they can get that by essentially giving him money through his businesses, that’s a problem. That’s not the way our government should work.”

President Donald Trump golfing in February 2006. (Image Credit: Flickr user Steve Jurvetson)

Identify Trump’s golf Partners

The Washington Post is asking for help identifying who has been golfing with President Trump.

“On 81 of the 111 days, we think Trump has played golf as president, we have no idea who his partner might have been,” the article reads. “Thanks to the White House pool, local news reports, social media posts and, most significantly, data compiled by, we do know some of his partners.”

The news organization and others have been able to identify some of the people President Trump has played with, including Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Now, they want help identifying the others.

The news organization has developed a list of dates and locations they believe President Trump played golf. Some are verified, while others are unverified or missing information. They are asking the public to help them fill in the blanks by submitting tips here

President Donald Trump, joined by First Daughter Ivanka Trump talks with NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer onboard the International Space Station Monday, April 24, 2017, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Image Credit: NASA)

Ivanka-branded Store Turns Into Trump-branded Store

The only storefront for Ivanka Trump’s clothing, accessory and shoe line has been permanently shut down.

Business Insider is reporting the Ivanka Trump store at Trump Tower in New York City was transformed into a Trump-branded store this week. The change comes a week after the brand announced the company was closing its doors.

A representative with the company did not answer questions about what happened to the merchandise or what the future plans were for the merchandise.

Ivanka Trump no longer oversees the daily operation of her company but earned an estimated $5 million from the brand last year, according to financial disclosures.

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” presents a comprehensive, free, searchable database detailing all of President Donald J.Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as president of the United States. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, learn more about conflicts of interest at every level of government and search our database. If you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking you can email us or contact us here to contribute to the project.

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.