Pence defends decision to stay at Trump property in Ireland

US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence gesture as they arrive at Shannon airport for the start of an official visit to Ireland, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Jacob King/PA via AP)

DOONBEG, Ireland (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence’s staff is defending his decision to stay at one of President Donald Trump’s properties while in Ireland amid criticism by Democrats that he’s enriching Trump at taxpayers’ expense.

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said Tuesday that the decision to stay at Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg was made at Trump’s “suggestion” and that Pence and his entourage won’t be staying for free.

Short says Pence’s office followed protocol and received State Department sign-off. He says the club is the “one facility” in the Doonbeg area that can accommodate Pence’s team.

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