Trump kicks off Palm Beach social season at Mar-a-Lago

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is kicking off the Palm Beach social season with a return to the “winter White House.”

All presidents have had their favorite retreats, but none has drawn the fascination — or raised the ethical issues — of Mar-a-Lago, where Trump spends his time mixing work, business and pleasure in the company of dues-paying members.

Trump, his wife, Melania, and their son, Barron, arrived there Tuesday.

Former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen describes Mar-a-Lago as a place where “sky-high admissions fees” can “seem to be down payments on ambassadorships.”

Indeed, Trump recently picked member Lana Marks to serve as U.S. ambassador to South Africa. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says she’s the fourth member to be nominated for such a post.

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