aside Trump Hotel Is Changing The Culture In Washington DC.

The Trump Hotel in Washington DC has become an icon as it as its revenues keep pouring in from locals and foreign dignitaries. It has become the place to be for anyone who wants to rub elbows with republican leaders.

And of course, all the profits go to the business owned by the republican President Donald Trump.

Photo by Evelyn Hockstein For The Washington Post

Here is the rest of the story…

On August 7, 2017, Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post penned the following report, “How the Trump hotel changed Washington’s culture of influence.”

Excerpts:

“On a June morning, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and his wife enjoyed croissants in the lounge of the opulent hotel, a day before joining President Trump a few blocks away at the White House for a Rose Garden news conference.”

“Downstairs that same day in the grand ballroom, hundreds of bankers discussed their industry’s future under Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who lived in the hotel for six months at his own expense, according to a spokesman, after Trump picked him for the job.”

(Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“The scenes illustrate a daily spectacle of Washington influence at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., the city’s newest luxury hotel that has quickly become a kind of White House annex. Since Trump’s election, the Trump International Hotel has emerged as a Republican Party power center where on a good day — such as July 28 around 8 p.m. — excited visitors can watch the president share intimate dinner conversation with his just-named chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and be the first to brag about it on social media.”

“This is nothing Washington has ever seen. For the first time in presidential history, a profit-making venture touts the name of a U.S. president in its gold signage. And every cup of coffee served, every fundraiser scheduled, every filet mignon ordered feeds the revenue of the Trump family’s private business.”

“In conversations with The Washington Post, the hotel’s management described its strategy to capitalize on the president’s popularity. It markets the hotel to Republican and conservative groups that embrace Trump’s politics but takes care not to solicit business from fringe groups that would embarrass the president. Trump supporters in red “Make America Great Again” caps get a chance to rub elbows with White House officials against an American flag backdrop at the Benjamin Bar, where a signature concoction of winter wheat vodka, oysters and caviar goes for $100.”

(Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“It is difficult to see comings and goings at the hotel. There are no signs in the lobby to direct guests to daily events, velvet ropes block the public from meeting areas, and some groups holding conventions and banquets omit references to Trump’s name in their promotional materials.”

“The Post spent part of every day in May in the hotel’s bars, restaurants and lobby. What reporters saw ranged from events hosted by foreign groups with policy priorities to Republican glitterati — Rudolph W. Giuliani posing for selfies at the bar the night Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey; White House aide Omarosa Manigault conferring with the former producer of “The Apprentice”; former Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski plopping into a black leather chair marked “Reserved”; then-press secretary Sean Spicer scrolling through his phone on a plush blue sofa in the lobby.”

“The parade included out-of-town tourists gawking in the lobby; bartenders hawking $2,500-per-bottle champagne; a light artist at nightfall projecting a protest message on the gray stone facade that read “Pay Trump Bribes Here.””Trump, as titular leader of the Republican Party, has showcased the hotel as a destination of choice for GOP loyalists.”

Image result for photos of trump hotel WASHINGTON DC

“In July, about 300 Republican donors, paying $35,000 apiece, gathered at the hotel for a fundraiser headlined by the president. The event raised an estimated $10 million for Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups, according to news reports at the time.”

“Money also has poured in from other Republican political committees that have chosen the Trump hotel as a venue for receptions.”

“No one has yet calculated how much taxpayer money is being spent at the hotel. A Texas newspaper is seeking records of state expenditures at the hotel. In Maine, the Portland Press Herald dug into Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s spending at the hotel when in Washington for White House meetings.”

Image result for photos of trump hotel WASHINGTON DC
TRUMP HOTEL

“Business from foreign customers is brisk, the hotel says, but as an ethical precaution, it says it does not market directly to foreign embassies. Under an agreement signed by Trump, the hotel has promised to donate any profits made from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury. An obscure constitutional provision known as the emoluments clause prohibits the president from profiting from foreign governments without specific approval from Congress.”

“But groups with foreign interests have found that the location helps attract Washington star power. In May, a pair of business groups promoting Turkish American relations staged their annual convention at the Trump hotel during a tense moment between the countries.”

‘It’s doing well’

“A high-end renovation of the historic Old Post Office Pavilion, the 263-room hotel has become a symbol of the tangled ethical questions posed by Trump’s presidency. The Trump Organization, then headed by the billionaire New York developer, leased the property from the General Services Administration in 2013 and pays the federal agency $250,000 in rent each month.”

Image result for photos of trump hotel WASHINGTON DC

“Since Trump’s election, his critics have charged that anyone seeking favor from the White House has an incentive to stay in posh rooms that can be booked on the Internet for $400 per night or more. One of Washington’s most expensive hotels, the Trump International brought in $19.7 million between its opening last fall and mid-April, according to Trump’s most recent financial disclosure. Some hotel industry experts say that number is higher than expected, and senior analyst Michael Bellisario of Robert W. Baird and Co. said, “Anecdotally, it’s doing well because people are staying there when they come to visit the White House.”

“Trump tried to address ethical concerns by turning over the hotel’s management to his two eldest sons and vowing to take no hotel profits during his tenure. But he retained his ownership interest, allowing him to eventually profit from the holdings.”

“The arrangement did little to quell controversy. Early this year, lobbying reports revealed that some veterans groups had been brought in to lobby Congress against a law allowing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. The veterans groups ran up $270,000 in hotel charges, including about $190,000 for rooms, $78,000 for catering and $1,600 for parking, the filings showed.”Image result for photos of trump hotel WASHINGTON DC

“The bill was ultimately paid by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leading to criticism as Trump embarked three months later to Saudi Arabia on his first international trip.”

“The Trump hotel has faced lawsuits since its opening. The most recent ones filed by two state attorneys general, members of Congress and competing Washington convention businesses contend that Trump is violating the emoluments clause.”

“Trump’s donation to the U.S. Treasury is aimed for the end of the year, and Tang said the hotel keeps a separate ledger to record any payments from foreign governments.”

Image result for photos of trump hotel WASHINGTON DC

“But Trump critics such as Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), argue that the novel legal questions posed by the emoluments lawsuits will eventually force the president to give up ownership.”

“I can’t believe that there’s any court that will say the emoluments clause does not apply here, notwithstanding that it has never been tried in court before,” Norton said.”

Link to entire article: How the Trump hotel has rewritten the rules of … – Washington Post

5 comments

Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s