President Trump landed at Ireland’s Shannon Airport on Thursday afternoon, had a slightly awkward joint press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the airport’s VIP lounge, discussed Brexit and other issues with Varadkar in a private meeting, then boarded a helicopter to travel the 40 miles to his golf resort in Doonbeg, County Clare. Trump will spend Wednesday night at the club, fly to Normandy on Thursday for France’s D-Day 75th anniversary ceremony, fly back to Doonbeg to spend Thursday night, then fly back to Washington after an expected day of golf.
“Despite the odd geography of that schedule — which requires flying hundreds of miles west to Ireland, then hundreds more miles back east to France,” The Washington Post notes, Trump said before the trip he was “going to be staying at Doonbeg in Ireland because it’s convenient and it’s a great place, but it’s convenient.”
At Shannon Airport, a Irish journalist asked Trump if he came to Ireland to promote his golf club, and Trump said no, the trip “is really about great relationships that we have with the U.K.” — the Republic of Ireland is not a part of the U.K. — and he “really wanted to do this stop in Ireland, it was very important to me, because of the relationship I have with the people and with your prime minister.” Trump is not popular in Ireland, The Guardian notes, but he is broadly popular in Doonbeg, where his club is the area’s largest employer.
Trump purchased Doonbeg for $11.9 million cash in 2014, poured $30 million into renovating and operating the resort, and has lost more than $1 million each year on the property, the Post reports, noting that Ireland hasn’t released corporate records for 2018 yet. “The visit marks the third time Trump has paused during an overseas trip to visit one of his businesses, which he has maintained ownership of as president,” the Post adds.
Read more: theweek.com