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Who's Paying For Trump Jr., Eric, Lara and Tiffany Trump's U.K. State Dinner Trip?

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/5/2019 Jessica Kwong

a group of people posing for the camera: Trump Jr. Eric Lara Tiffany UK © Provided by Newsweek Media Group Inc. Trump Jr. Eric Lara Tiffany UK President Donald Trump's adult children who do not work in the administration made headlines this week for traveling with their father on an official trip to the United Kingdom, and some critics have gone further to wonder who is paying for their presumably costly participation.

Pollster and Whitman Insight Strategies director Matt McDermott ‏on Wednesday tweeted a photo of Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, and Tiffany Trump from the U.K. state dinner at Buckingham Palace on Monday.

"4 of 6 people in this photo have no official government position," McDermott wrote, referring to everyone except Ivanka Trump and Kushner who are senior White House advisers. "They run private businesses, are campaign advisers. Why are they attending an official state dinner on behalf of the United States?"

Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, while Lara Trump is a Trump 2020 senior campaign adviser and Tiffany Trump is a Georgetown Law student.

Donald Trump Jr. wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Newsweek Media Group Inc. Donald Trump Jr Cornell University historian Lawrence Glickman quote tweeted McDermott with follow-up questions: "Who is paying for Trump's relatives to attend an official state dinner on behalf of the United States? Are Don, Eric and his spouse, and Tiffany, none of whom have a government position, funding their trip?"

A White House official told Newsweek on Wednesday afternoon that the four non-administration members of the Trump family who joined the trip were personally paying. White House officials did not immediately respond to a question regarding how much the trip to U.K. and participation in the state dinner cost per person or as a whole.

Ethics experts took issue particularly with Trump Jr. and Eric Trump's attendance at the state dinner given their roles as businessmen.

"My concern is that Donald Trump Jr. and Eric are the two sons running the business, so their day job is to try and enrich the Trump Organization," Richard Painter, a former chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, told Newsweek on Monday.

Painter said the Trump sons' presence "gives the impression that the Trump family has their hands out looking for profitable business opportunities as [the president is] conducting diplomacy for the United States and that's the way you get in good with the Trump White House, and obviously it's to work deals with the Trump family."

The watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's spokesman Jordan Libowitz told Newsweek that "the Trump brothers have a vested interest in making money for their father in the U.K."

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Wednesday.

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