DC Hotel: Donald Trump Must Give It Up!
DC Hotel: Donald Trump
Must Give It Up!
Donald Trump just opened a spanking brand new DC hotel only blocks from the White House. Too bad he’s going to have to give it up!
The Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC opened on October 26, 2016, inside a former US Post Office. Trump wasn’t allowed to purchase the government-owned building, however, he was allowed to lease it — provided he never held elected political office. Well, guess what?
Now that Donald Trump is “President-elect” Donald Trump, he will be in violation of the lease on his DC hotel the moment he takes the oath of office.
In a letter on Wednesday, Michael Gelber, the deputy commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service, informed members of congress that Trump is a month away from being in breach of his lease. The hotel lease specifically states that “no … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.” Holding the position of president would, in fact, be a violation.
Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee ranking member, said he is aware that the actual breach will not occur until Trump is sworn in, and that any discussion of a breach is a “hypothetical” issue until that time. However, he added: “We also share GSA’s hope that the agency will not have to address this issue if President-elect Trump divests his ownership in the lease before then. But the simple fact is that GSA informed our staffs that they interpret this lease provision as prohibiting any elected official from having any ownership interest in the lease, and we stand 100% behind our letter.”
Translation: If Trump wants to own the hotel, he can’t be president. If Trump wants to be president, he can’t own the hotel. Pick one!
Trump can’t be president and owner of the hotel since he would end up being his own landlord. The only way he can avoid a violation of contract is to completely divest his ownership interest in the DC hotel. Additionally, lawmakers were quick to add that Trump would still be in breach if he simply transferred management control to his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. He must totally step away from the DC hotel business, or face the consequences.
Interestingly, Trump’s DC hotel has already emerged as the new “go-to spot” for foreign governments who wish to influence the incoming Trump administration. The Embassy of Bahrain and the government of Azerbaijan have each rented out ballrooms for their annual end-of-year parties at the luxury property. In fact, hotel staff members held briefings for foreign governments to sell them on renting the luxury rooms as a means of getting in the good graces of the incoming president.
The Trump International Hotel in DC is only one of the many conflicts of interest Donald Trump is facing as president-elect. It’s only a matter of time before Trump’s global businesses and his upcoming political service in The White House clash, crash, and burn!