Donald Trump Jokes About Taxpayers Funding a 'Political Event’ in Which He Plugged His Golf Course

During a stop in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump reportedly bragged that he was traveling to political events for free. He also referenced his nearby golf course.

“It's like a political event and you don't even have to pay for it,” Trump said, according to multiple reporters in attendance and a live stream of the event.

Trump hosted a rally the night before in Evansville, Indiana.

While it may be free for Trump, taxpayers do foot the bill for the campaign-style rallies that he often hosts across the country. The same is true for when he travels to political events for other candidates or to one of his golf courses. 

The president also referenced his Charlotte Trump National Golf Club. He then said the press would criticize him for the conflict of interest of promoting his private business through the office of the Presidency.

“I actually have investments in Charlotte,” Trump said. “They’ll say, ‘Oh, there’s a conflict of interest.’ The fake news. You know where my club is, right? Trump National. It’s a very big success on Lake Norman. Largest man-made lake in the world, by far.”

(Lake Norman, at 50 square miles, is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Kariba, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is 2000 square miles and is in fact the largest man-made lake in the world.)

As of last week, the president had spent 150 of his nearly 600 days in office at a golf club bearing his own name. That is a quarter of his time in office.

Trump was in Charlotte to sign an executive order that his administration says is designed to make it easier for small businesses to provide retirement plans for their employees. The order directs the Labor and Treasury departments to enact regulations that would allow smaller businesses to pool their resources together to offer 401(k) plans to their employees.

“Small business workers will now be treated more fairly and have many more choices,” Trump said. "We will accomplish this goal by reducing regulatory barriers and allowing small businesses to band together to create low-cost association retirement plans."

But the president won’t leave the city without entering the political arena to star in fundraisers for GOP congressional candidates Mark Harris and Representative Ted Budd.

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