US Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, left, meet with Irish President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabrina at Aras an Uachtarain the official residence of the Irish President , Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 3, 2019.
US Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, left, meet with Irish President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabrina at Aras an Uachtarain the official residence of the Irish President , Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 3, 2019.

DOONBEG, IRELAND - Vice President Mike Pence's staff is defending his decision to stay at one of President Donald Trump's properties while in Ireland amid criticism by Democrats that he's enriching Trump at taxpayers' expense.

Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, said Tuesday that the decision to stay at Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg was made at Trump's "suggestion" and that Pence and his entourage won't be staying for free.
 
Short says Pence's office followed protocol and received State Department sign-off. He says the club is the "one facility" in the Doonbeg area that can accommodate Pence's team.
 

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Pence is traveling with his wife, his mother and his sister. Short says Pence is personally covering costs for his mother and his sister.
 
Pence is commuting into Dublin for meetings with Irish officials.