Inside Trump's controversial luxury golf resort in Ireland, where Pence spent US tax dollars and sparked outrage
- US Vice President Mike Pence was widely criticized for staying at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland.
- Critics like US Senator Ted Lieu questioned the ethics of the vice president staying at a Trump-owned resort.
- Lieu tweeted that Pence's actions are tantamount to "funneling taxpayer money" to Trump.
- Doonbeg is approximately "an hour's drive plus a 40-minute flight" away from Dublin, where Pence was due to meet with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, according to CNN.
- White House officials confirmed that the visit of Pence's entourage was paid for by US tax dollars, Reuters reported.
- But the latest fracas involving Pence isn't the first time that the tiny coastal town of Doonbeg's been embroiled in a Trump-related controversy.
- In the run up to the 2016 election, Fusion GPS investigated claims that Trump funded the Irish golf course with funding from the Russian mafia.
- Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar later came under fire for lobbying on the US president's behalf in an effort to block a nearby wind farm.
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Vice President Mike Pence found himself in the rough on Monday, when criticism erupted over the ethics of his visit to US President Donald Trump's Irish golf resort.
As part of his trip to meet with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Pence and his entourage lodged at Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland. The hotel did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
CNN reported that the resort is out of the way of Dublin, requiring Pence to make "an hour's drive plus a 40-minute flight" to get to his destination.Read more: After Trump tweeted out an image from a secret intelligence briefing to mock Iran, a top Iranian official trolled the president with a 'good morning' selfie
A Pence spokesperson told Reuters that the president suggested that his second-in-command stay at the resort, which he still owns.
"It wasn't like a 'you must,'" Pence chief of staff Marc Short told reporters. "It wasn't like a 'you have to.'"
Short also confirmed that the visit was taxpayer-funded, adding that the vice president himself paid for the stay of his mother and sister, who accompanied him.
This isn't the first time that Pence has shown a preference for Trump properties. The Daily Beast reported that Pence's political team has poured $224,000 into stays at hotels owned by the president since 2017. But this latest visit has prompted a fresh backlash from Trump critics like Senator Ted Lieu, who tweeted that Pence was "funneling taxpayer money" to the president.
It's also not the first time that the president's Irish golf resort has attracted widespread scrutiny.Here's a look inside Ireland's Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, which has also been linked to Russian mafia money and a debacle involving a wind farm: