Trump's Weekend In Florida Might Not Be Ethical

Donald Trump's invitation to the Japanese prime minister to spend a weekend in Florida has some crying foul.
Posted at 11:07 PM, Feb 09, 2017

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to spend the weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort — and that's raising ethical concerns.

Mar-a-Lago is a Trump-owned business. If Trump allows Abe to pay for the stay, he's directly receiving money from a foreign government. If he allows the prime minister to stay for free, he is effectively donating the cost of the trip to the Japanese government. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday he wasn't sure how the prime minister's stay would be financed. On Thursday, he followed up.

"The president has offered as a gift to the prime minister. He will be his guest at Mar-a-Lago," Spicer said in his press briefing Thursday.

A member of a D.C.-based groupadvocating for transparency in government told NBC News he might file a complaint with the Office of Government Ethics. 

It's a singular case of a larger ethical concern regarding how Trump's business might interfere with his governing. Before Trump was inaugurated, an Asian diplomat admitted they would stay at Trump's D.C. hotel to curry favor with the president if they were in town for business. 

Trump has said he would donate all profits from foreign dignitaries staying at his hotels to the U.S. Treasury. He has not elaborated on that plan or how it would work. 

Abe shows up in Washington on Friday. The two will head to Florida for the weekend.