- President Donald Trump is handing another US ambassadorship to a member of his Mar-a-Lago resort that costs $200,000 to join.
- This time it's the long-vacant role as US ambassador to South Africa, and Lana Marks is Trump's pick.
- Marks is Trump's pick as the top US diplomat to the second-largest African economy. Sheis likely best known as a handbag designer. Her sought-after bags can cost as much as $400,000.
- Marks is the fourth member of the Mar-a-Lago club Trump has tapped for an ambassadorship.
The nomination of Lana Marks as ambassador to South Africa, yet another Mar-a-Lago member tapped for such an honor, is certain to raise some uncomfortable questions about whether President Donald Trump is rewarding longtime members of his exclusive, pricey Mar-a-Lago club.
In a statement from the White House on Wednesday Trump announced several new appointments to key administration posts, including that of Marks.
Marks is the founder and chief executive of Lana Marks Inc., a luxury fashion-accessories company.
Rather than crossing swords with honorary consuls or hosting royals for high tea, Marks is best known for her high-dollar handbags.
According to the Palm Beach Daily News, the South African-born entrepreneur has a legacy of lawsuits, past and present.
"In more than a dozen past lawsuits against her in Aspen, New York, California and South Florida, Marks has repeatedly been accused of stiffing her attorneys, accountants, landlords and employees. She is also embroiled in bitter, international legal battles in South Africa and Israel with her siblings over a family trust and the care for their 89-year-old mother," the news outlet reports.
According to the White House, Marks has served on the Women's Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Women's International Forum for more than a decade.
The Afrikaans and Xhosa-speaking couture designer attended the University of the Witwatersrand and the Institute of Personnel Management in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Marks is the fourth Mar-a-Lago member, which costs $200,000 to join, to earn a nod from the president for an ambassadorial posting
Mar-a-Lago members tapped by Trump for diplomatic posts:
- Robin Bernstein, a founding member of Mar-a-Lago: Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
- Patrick Park: Appointed ambassador to Austria but declined the honor.
- Brian Burns: Appointed ambassador to Ireland but said no for health reasons.