Prior to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, most people probably would have assumed Mar-a-Lago was a far-flung island in the South Pacific. Or a fancy sandwich, perhaps. But now that Trump’s in the White House and has proceeded to make his Palm Beach, Florida, resort his favorite retreat, almost everyone is familiar with it. Unfortunately, news surrounding Mar-a-Lago isn’t always rosy. Trump’s trips there are costing the taxpayers big league (bigly?), and it’s not sitting well with many Americans.
Mar-a-Lago is going to be a topic of discussion for as long as Trump is in office — and probably even longer than that. Although other presidents have had their favorite retreats and places to go to find solace, Trump’s use of his own private resort — and the ethics questions that surround it — is unprecedented in a number of ways.
Membership offers one of the most direct ways for private citizens to access a sitting president. But getting in isn’t easy — or cheap. Let’s take a quick look at the details surrounding the “winter White House,” Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.