President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that it wasn’t his idea for Vice President Mike Pence to stay at his golf resort during a state visit to Ireland this week.
“I had no involvement other than it’s a great place,” Trump said, according to the White House pool report. “I heard he was going there, but it wasn’t my idea for Mike to go there.”
“Mike went there because his family’s there,” he added. “That’s my understanding of it.”
“I don’t suggest anything,” Trump then replied when a reporter asked him if he’d suggested the Vice President stay at the resort in Doonbeg, which is over 100 miles away from where Pence’s meetings were held in Dublin.
Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said on Tuesday that Trump had made the “suggestion” that Pence stay at the President’s property. Pence’s office then walked back Short’s comment several hours later and claimed it was the Vice President’s sole decision to stay there because he wanted to stay near his “ancestral hometown.”
It wasn’t the first time the White House just happened to use Trump’s Doonbeg resort during an official visit: Trump flew out of his way from his trip to the U.K. to spend two nights at his property in June, all while claiming the visit was about “great relationships we have with the U.K.”