GOP Senator: ‘I Do Wish’ Trump Would Host State Visits In DC, Not Mar-A-Lago

In a Monday, April 10, 2017 photo, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks during a town hall meeting at Central Community School auditorium in Elkader, Iowa. (Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP)
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Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Tuesday said she wishes President Donald Trump “would spend more time in Washington, D.C.” and host state leaders there rather than at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

An audience member at a town hall in Wall Lake, Iowa, asked Ernst about Trump’s “weekends in Florida, costing us $3 million-plus in 100 days.”

“When you talked earlier about not a lot of money, deficits and everything, we’ve got to keep accountability,” he said.

“I agree with you,” Ernst said. “I do wish that he would spend more time in Washington, D.C.”

Ernst said she has “had the same concerns.”

“That is something I think that has been bothering not just me but some other members of our caucus,” she said.

Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, claimed in an interview published Monday that his father’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago, where he often plays a few courses, are “a very effective tool” when it comes to “bonding” with foreign heads of state.

However, Ernst told the audience that she would prefer to see Trump host state visits in the nation’s capital.

“We would love to see more of those State Department visits in Washington, D.C. I think it’s smart that he does business in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “That’s what we have the White House for.”

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