The State Department appears to have axed a controversial blog post that sung the praises of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago private estate in Florida. The page, which was strongly criticized by ethics experts, now states "the intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post." The deleted post, which was strongly criticized by ethics experts, stated that Trump was belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer" by using the resort as a "winter White House," reports the BBC, which notes that membership fees doubled to $200,000 after Trump took office.
Ethics experts tell BuzzFeed that the post, created by the department's Bureau of International Information Programs, was probably taken down because it violates a federal regulation that bans using official channels to promote a private business. The post, which contained plenty of images of Mar-a-Lago's interior, was shared in places including the website of the US Embassy in London. The White House said Monday that it had been unaware of the existence of the post, which Democrats slammed as an example of the Trump administration's "kleptocratic" nature, ABC News reports. (Health inspectors found 15 violations at Mar-a-Lago a few days after Trump's inauguration.)