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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Groups File Ethics Complaints Over State Department’s Mar-a-Lago Blog Post

Avalon Zoppo and Abigail Williams
Originally posted April 25, 2017

An ethics advocacy group has filed a complaint calling for an investigation into the State Department's glowing description of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club on its website.

The complaint, filed Tuesday with the Office of Government Ethics by the group Common Cause, is in response to a blog post published on the State Department's ShareAmerica website that referred to Mar-a-Lago as the "winter White House" and noted that it is open to paying members.

Published in early April, prior to a meeting with China's president Xi Jinping at the Palm Beach club, the post detailed the history of Mar-a-Lago and appeared on websites for the U.S. Embassies in the United Kingdom and Albania.

By Monday the post was removed, replaced by a brief note that said it was only meant to inform. "We regret any misperception and have removed the post," the note said. State Department Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner said Tuesday it was not intended to promote any private business.

The article is here.