The US Embassy in London has removed a post promoting Donald Trump’s Florida resort following scathing criticism.
In the blog post republished by several embassies around the world Mar-a-Lago was described as “the winter White House”.
But the 114-room mansion is a private club which doubled its membership fee to $200,000 following Trump’s election.
Trump has hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the resort.
The post stated that Trump “is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it.
“By visiting this ‘winter White House,’ Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer,” the post continued.
The appearance of the promotional post on an office US government department’s website ignited criticism.
The State Department said that its intention was “to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders” and that it regrets “any misperception,” the Associated Press reports.
HuffPost UK has contacted the department for further comment.
The post was heavily criticised by many, including Democrat politicians in the US who queried why taxpayer money was being spent to promote the president’s country club.
Norman Eisen, who was President Barack Obama’s chief ethics attorney, said the promotion is “exploitation.”
Eisen compared it to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s promotion of Ivanka Trump’s clothing business, for which she was “counseled” but not otherwise reprimanded by the White House.
“This idea of using government for private gain is metastasising,” Eisen said. “It must be stopped.”
On Twitter, Richard Painter, who served in an ethics role for President George W. Bush, called the State Department post “Use of public office for private gain pure and simple.”
The page was taken down by Monday evening.