Earlier this month, thousands of white nationalists descended upon the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, to “protest” plans to remove a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The violence that rocked the city following those white nationalists clashing with counter-protesters ended with three people dead, including one woman — 32-year-old Heather Heyer — who was hit and killed in a car ramming attack carried out by a white supremacist.
The president responded to the violence by asserting that “fine people” were among the white supremacist marchers and that “both sides” were equally to blame for the violence — and he’s still feeling the heat for those belligerent remarks.
The Washington Post is now reporting that an eighteenth charity has pulled out of the president’s Florida Mar-A-Lago resort, which makes a good portion of its money from hosting galas and luncheons put on by various charitable organizations.
Florida’s Bethesda Hospital Foundation spokeswoman Paula Henderson told the publication:
‘We did change the venue. It just took a long time because we had a lot of people to meet with.’
Reports have long detailed how much the president used to clearly tie his perception of his public image into the flashy charity events held at his Florida resort. In other words, he’s not going to like this.
All of the aforementioned eighteen charities that have canceled their upcoming events at Mar-A-Lago — where the president himself has spent a great deal of time since taking office — have done so following his controversial response to the violence in Virginia.
Representatives for the latest charity to pull out declined to comment on the reason for their organization’s venue change for their upcoming luncheon. Henderson referred questions about the venue change to another official with the foundation, who did not immediately return a request for comment.
Of course, this shouldn’t, in theory, be a financial issue for the president, seeing as according to standard ethics practices, presidents sever all ties with their private business interests upon assuming their office. President Trump, however, did no such thing, opting to instead simply pass off executive control of the Trump Organization to his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.
This arrangement has not satisfied ethics concerns, but it’s what the president has stuck with anyway. Ethics concerns center around special interests using their patronage of Trump Organization businesses as a bargaining chip with the president — which they have done.
The Bethesda Hospital Foundation’s annual luncheon has been held at Mar-A-Lago for four years, and with an average annual attendance of about 500 people, it is one of the largest events held at the private club.
The Washington Post notes, even still, that it’s not immediately clear how much money the Trump Organization will lose thanks to either this foundation’s decision or that of other charities to take their events elsewhere. Some of the income from the events comes from fees paid to the president’s businesses ahead of time.
The Bethesda Hospital Foundation will be holding their November 9 “Women of Grace” luncheon at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, which is located — as its name suggests — just down the Florida coast from Mar-A-Lago, which is in Palm Beach.
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