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Did Trump Sell a US Ambassador Spot for $200,000?

Lana Marks promoting her handbags on Heritage Auctions
Lana Marks promoting her handbags on Heritage Auctions (Image via YouTube)

Trump just gave an Ambassadorship to a luxury handbag maker who also happens to be a member of his Mar-a-Lago resort – fueling accusations of nepotism.

President Donald Trump nominated Lana Marks to serve as the U.S. ambassador to South Africa last Thursday. Marks is an executive member of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump’s exclusive club which costs $200,000 to join. She is also a luxury handbag maker whose handbags cost as much as $400,000. Marks is now the fourth Mar-a-Lago club executive that Trump has tapped for foreign diplomatic missions.

Previously, Trump nominated Robin Bernstein, a founding member of Mar-a-Lago, to serve as ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He has also selected Patrick Park as ambassador to Austria and Brian Burns as ambassador to Ireland. Park turned down the invitation, and Burns declined for health reasons.

Who is Lana Marks?

Marks was born in South Africa and speaks both Afrikaans and Xhosa fluently. She attended the University of Witwatersrand and the Institute of Personnel Management, both in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The White House also says the couture designer is a former member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as well as the Women’s International Forum, where she reportedly served for more than 10 years.

Marks is most well-known for her high-end line of handbags, made out of rare leathers, called Lana Marks handbags. She has stores in New York, Palm Beach, Beverly Hills and is expanding to China, the Middle East and Singapore. Her bags typically sell in the $15,000 to $20,000 price range but some have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her bags are also frequently worn by stars on the red carpet,

Lawsuits Plague Lana Marks

But despite being a successful businesswoman, Marks is not without controversy. She has been the target of over a dozen lawsuits, some of which are still playing out.

The “Palm Beach Daily News” reported that she’s battled lawsuits in Aspen, New York, California and South Florida where prosecutors have repeatedly alleged that Marks stiffed her workers, landlords, accountants and attorneys.

Marks is also involved in litigation with her family members in courts in Israel and South Africa over a family trust and care of their 89-year-old mother.

Lawsuits in Palm Beach County, Florida specifically accuse Marks of failing to pay $25,399 in rent for an office space plus three lawsuits accused Marks of failing to pay rent for her store on Worth Avenue. Marks also settled a case out of court in Fort Lauderdale for $13,000 accusing her of failing to pay legal fees.

According to Palm Beach Daily News, Marks has also been sued for failing to pay $117,342 in advertising fees to luxury magazines, $130,540 for not providing sufficient permits to a store to sell her handbags, plus multiple lawsuits for not paying contractors for work performed. The IRS also hit Marks and her husband with a lien of over $360,000 for failing to pay income tax.

Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago Lands of Influence

In addition to the $200,000 cost to join Mar-a-Lago, Marks and her husband hosted their daughter’s wedding at Mar-a-Lago. According to the Chicago Tribune, a “big gala” at Mar-a-Lago can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000. Additionally, after the resort initiation costs, an annual membership at the club is $14,000 a year.

Palm Beach has served as a fertile ground for influence in the Trump administration according to the Palm Beach Daily which reported that three club members are said to be influential advisers on public policy in the Veteran’s Administration: Bruce Moskowitz, a Palm Beach doctor; Ike Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment; and Marc Sherman, an attorney.

Other notables with homes in Palm Beach include current Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (who has been seen at Mar-a-Lago events), U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Duke Buchanan III ambassador to Spain.

 

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51 Comments

  1. Judy Cooper November 23, 2018

    Wow!

    Reply
  2. Bob Stewart November 23, 2018

    WHAAAT

    Reply
  3. Jackie Zapp November 23, 2018

    Yup

    Reply
  4. Edward Calabrese November 23, 2018

    She is about as qualified as a staffer at McDonalds to be an ambassador to anywhere! Just another pay to play indulgence

    Reply
  5. Cheryl Casillas November 23, 2018

    Yep he sir did ??????

    Reply
  6. Walt McCreary November 23, 2018

    Most ambassadors for most presidents are big donors. Apply truth evenly or hush.

    Reply
  7. Susan Sheehan November 23, 2018

    Yes

    Reply
  8. Sylvia Narramore Opella November 23, 2018

    DUH

    Reply
  9. Shirley Hawkins November 23, 2018

    Yep he must have,when these socall people come from. No one of his team qualiified .

    Reply
  10. Carol Rhoades Melby November 23, 2018

    Following the path of politicians before him

    Reply
  11. Will Feil November 23, 2018

    BS BS BS BS BS BS

    Reply
  12. Patricia Mathews Ray November 23, 2018

    I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Reply
  13. Deann Pugh-Vandergriff November 23, 2018

    It never ends.

    Reply
  14. Darlene Steinpreis November 23, 2018

    HELL NO SO SICK OF THESE FALSE THINGS BEING SAID JUST LETTING THESE THINGS OUT NOW SO THE DEMS CAN TIE UP THE GOVERMENT WITH ENDLESS GROUNDLESS INVESTIGATIONS

    Reply
  15. Ann Bingham Newman November 23, 2018

    Most likely or a purse for melania

    Reply
  16. Tere Calderon November 23, 2018

    HOW MUCH???????????

    Reply
  17. Sarah Meachen November 23, 2018

    Old lady bags for sale

    Reply
  18. Susan Dow November 23, 2018

    Yup, he did.

    Reply
  19. Ann Williams November 23, 2018

    SURPRISE SURPRISE

    Reply
  20. Charles Bridegan November 23, 2018

    Count on it ..

    Reply
  21. Verna Schertz November 23, 2018

    LOOKS LIKE IT!

    Reply
  22. Jeanne Perry November 23, 2018

    Sure he did

    Reply
  23. Shirley Andrews November 23, 2018

    Are there no people he puts into his administration that won’t take money for a job they are not qualified for ?

    Reply
  24. Cheryl Claytor November 23, 2018

    Yes

    Reply
  25. June Lysell November 23, 2018

    Yes he did! Must be a friend of Ivanka! ?

    Reply
  26. Kay Maez November 23, 2018

    No doubt !

    Reply
  27. Lynda L B Duke November 23, 2018

    Of course he did.

    Reply
  28. Doug Bryant November 23, 2018

    Awfol cheap for that crook.

    Reply
  29. Carol Funk November 23, 2018

    Must have. He could not find anyone good who would take the jobs and work with him

    Reply
  30. Eugene Stepney III November 23, 2018

    WHY IS THAT MF NOT BEHIND BARS??????

    Reply
  31. Eugene Stepney III November 23, 2018

    A GOVERNOR in Illinois was locked up for just making mention of selling a seat ! So why is that Bitch Trump Not Locked Up??????????

    Reply
  32. Barbara Chambers November 23, 2018

    So cute!

    Reply
  33. Shayna Alterman November 23, 2018

    Sure he did.

    Reply
  34. Lola Madison November 23, 2018

    Trump would sell his mama for a dollar……so of course he did.

    Reply
    1. Frances Fox Turner November 24, 2018

      I KNOW THAT’S A LIE, WHY DO YALL LIE SO MUCH???

  35. Peggy Buckman November 23, 2018

    INSULTING

    Reply
  36. Sharon Resnick November 23, 2018

    Ivanka needs some more bags.

    Reply
  37. Mary Anne Young November 23, 2018

    Why is this a question? He is all about Trump money.

    Reply
  38. Michele Fahy Bennett November 23, 2018

    Yes he did – for a $200,000 handbag

    Reply
  39. Kathleen Foster November 23, 2018

    EVERYTHING is for sale when it comes to trump

    Reply
  40. Michael Daveiga November 23, 2018

    I have an idea , let’s see how much money it would take for trump to give up the WHITE HOUSE because , every crook has his price !

    Reply
  41. Cheryl Yeager November 23, 2018

    Disguising

    Reply
  42. Laeequddin Kazi November 23, 2018

    Trump is accumulating money, out of his presidency, to get out of his huge debts. He is a phony billionaire and a fraud conman.

    Reply
  43. Joseph Garcia November 23, 2018

    Yeah he did ! And sold ur mother for months but she quite the job !

    Reply
  44. Joseph Garcia November 23, 2018

    CitizensTruth.Org is a bunch of lying creeps looking for dumb ass Democrats to believe them !

    Reply
  45. Linda Bednarz November 23, 2018

    Trump and his family could care less about America! They ran for office for personal gain. And are doing quite well! At the expense of Middle and low income people! Seeing as low income and middle class people pay lower taxes…we can not substain our country. We will fail.

    Reply
  46. Corinne Pollock Maher November 23, 2018

    Looks that way…..POS

    Reply
  47. Melvin Purvy November 23, 2018

    Probably, it’s all about the money ? with that clown ?!

    Reply
  48. Winifred Gilmore November 24, 2018

    Yep

    Reply
  49. Chari Hayes November 24, 2018

    I would tend to believe he did.

    Reply
  50. lrzkbduzup February 27, 2020

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    Reply

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