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State Department website removes article touting history of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

The State Department on Monday removed from its website an article about the history and lavish furnishings of President Trump s privately owned Florida resort club Mar-a-Lago, following questions about whether the federal government improperly promoted Trump s moneymaking enterprises. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pointed to the travelogue-style blog piece[1] Monday, asking in a Twitter message why the State Department would spend taxpayer $$ promoting the president s private country club. The State Department issued a statement Monday apologizing for any misperception.

[Are President Trump s trips to Mar-a-Lago similar to Obama s travels?[2]]

The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders, the statement said.

It was not clear whether the item had been vetted for legal or ethical concerns. The short item had been posted on a travel promotional website called Share America on April 4, ahead of Trump s meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping[3]. A version of the item was recently reposted on the website maintained by the U.S. Embassy in London, where it caught the attention of watchdog groups. The item adopted Trump s term winter White House for the members-only club. It did not expressly encourage foreigners to visit Mar-a-Lago, although other articles on the same website actively promote U.S. tourism. The item did note that the estate is located at the heart of Florida s Palm Beach community.

By visiting this winter White House, Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago s original owner and designer, the item read. The ornate Jazz Age house was designed with Old-World Spanish, Venetian and Portuguese influences and filled with original owner Marjorie Merriweather Post s collection of antiques, the article noted.

The item included photographs of the house and sumptuous interiors, and copies of Trump tweets mentioning Mar-a-Lago.

[What restaurant inspectors found wrong in Trump s Mar-a-Lago kitchen[4]]

The article gave a brief summary of the 1927 mansion s history, including Post s desire that it be used by U.S. presidents as a retreat and the subsequent decision by the U.S. government that the property was too expensive to maintain. Trump bought it in 1985.

After refurbishing the house and adding an events space, Trump opened the estate to dues-paying members of the public in 1995 as the Mar-a-Lago Club, the State Department item read. Post s dream of a winter White House came true with Trump s election in 2016. Trump regularly works out of the house he maintains at Mar-a-Lago and uses the club to host foreign dignitaries. One watchdog group, American Oversight, called for an investigation by the State Department inspector general and said it would request public records documenting how the blog post was created. The State Department describes the Share America site as its platform for sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.

The site is produced by the department s Bureau of International Information Programs, which produces material distributed by U.S. embassies.

Read more:

Trump has spent one out of every five minutes of his presidency in Palm Beach[5]

Coast Guard faces growing costs for protecting Trump s Mar-a-Lago[6]

A fake diplomatic cable has the State Department fuming[7]

References

  1. ^ travelogue-style blog piece (share.america.gov)
  2. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  4. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  7. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)

Killer of Brooklyn security guard forgiven by victim’s mother

A gunman got sentenced Monday to 76 years to life in prison for callously murdering a hardworking father of six and permanently injuring another man.

He also got something else grace from the heartbroken mother of the man he killed.

I ll forgive you, but I will never forget what you did, Cheryl Locklear, the mother of Aaron Locklear, told killer Antonio Mahon.

Locklear, 30, and trainee James Merced, 28, were taking a lunch break from their job as security guards on Nov. 28, 2014, when Mahon walked passed them on Dumont Ave. in Brownsville. Then Mahon turned around and opened fire.

Killer Of Brooklyn Security Guard Forgiven By Victim's Mother

Cheryl Locklear, mother of murdered Aaron Locklear, forgave her son’s killer.

(Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

My son left behind six children, you took them away from him. You took him away from his family. I m praying you seek a Christian life while in prison, but I have forgiven you, Cheryl Locklear said in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Mahon, 22, admitted he thought Locklear and Merced were his enemies and was on drugs at the time of the shooting. Merced now uses a wheelchair.

I must say this, I never thought in my life as a judge, did I think I d have to impune a sentence like this to anyone, Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said before giving Mahon 76 years to life.

Killer Of Brooklyn Security Guard Forgiven By Victim's Mother

Aaron Locklear was shot outside the housing complex where he worked by Antonio Mahon.

(instagram )

Prior to the shooting, Mahon chased after a young man armed with the murder weapon and pointed the same gun at a maintenance worker.

This is a very sad case. It pains my heart. It pains my soul that three young mens lives are ruined, but two really good men s lives are ruined, said Simpson.

Mahon told detectives he always walked around with a gun because he has problems with several gangs, including the HoodStarz, in the neighborhood.

Clayton Gravenhise, 22, a HoodStarz member, was on a revenge-fueled crime spree in 2014 after his brother Nathaniel Gravenhise was killed. Gravenhise suspected Mahon was the killer, sources said.

Tags: gun violence[1] new york murders[2]

Protecting the southern border requires mariners

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, I am proud to be an unwavering defender of the Jones Act a critical U.S. national security law that requires vessels moving from one U.S. port to another must be U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed. The Jones Act, in fact, is the quintessential definition of Buy American, Hire American. It s also a point that President Trump, along with his national security and economic teams, would be well-served to recognize in the effort to revive American industry and capability. While often conflated by foreign interests, the Jones Act ensures that vessels and workers engaged in coastwise trade are U.S.-compliant while providing domestic shipbuilding and mariner capacity to support our armed forces at times of war.

Underscoring the wide reach and necessity of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection s (CBP) Officer Michael Herbert recently spoke to a group of maritime executives outlining the unique national security challenges his office faces when policing the Gulf of Mexico. He addressed the inherent difficulties in trying to police and protect the more than 95,000 miles of coastline in the United States. In his remarks, Officer Herbert spoke about the importance of the Jones Act and its critical role in protecting the homeland first and foremost. In the Gulf of Mexico, for instance, this law also applies to vessels servicing the offshore platforms that deliver our nation s energy supplies exactly the type of critical infrastructure that CBP and others are committed to protecting. Because of this, the Jones Act has been supported by every modern president and has explicit support from our nation s Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy leadership. To further emphasize this crucial maritime capacity, CBP recently established the Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE) in New Orleans to support the office in ensuring vessel compliance.

Going even further, with the intent to ensure foreign crews are prevented from gaining access to our most precious and integral infrastructure, CBP issued a revocation of previous letter rulings affecting offshore service vessels that allowed foreign companies and crews to take advantage of a loophole and circumvent the build and staffing requirements of the Jones Act. Naturally, foreign entities are now upset that their loophole has been closed and are making unfounded claims to pressure on the CBP to drop the revocation. The fact of the matter is that if the revocation proceeds, as it should, there will be 3,200 U.S. jobs generated in the Gulf of Mexico alone with absolutely no disruption of offshore energy exploration and production. The added benefit of these jobs means that an estimated additional 1,000 mariners will be qualified to help the U.S. Ready Reserve Fleet, which is activated in times of war to move military cargo to war zones.

Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and former U.S. Marine, is chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.