Former US President Donald Trump’s prestigious hotel in Washington, D.C. lost millions during his tenure. And that’s while he even hid payments from foreign governments. A committee of the US House of Representatives said on Friday.
According to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the House’s most powerful investigative committee, government documents were recently obtained that raise “disturbing” questions about the Trump International Hotel, a historic building that the Trump Organization leases from the federal government. The hotel is a popular meeting place for Trump supporters and foreign dignitaries.
According to the Democratic-controlled committee, Trump reported that the hotel earned him more than $150 million (about $130 million) during his tenure, but in fact lost more than $70 million (about $60 million).
Potential conflict of interest
The commission found that the hotel received more than $3.7 million (3.2 million euros) in payments from foreign governments – the equivalent of more than 7,400 overnight stays at the hotel, which could indicate a conflict of interest.
The hotel provided some of this money to the US government, but failed to provide the full details of these payments to the General Services Administration (GSA), the federal government’s director of real estate. The commission’s investigation is based on documents published by the Public Security Agency.
Under the US Constitution, the president cannot receive payments or rewards from foreign governments to prevent foreign government interference in the United States. According to Trump’s lawyer, his ownership of the hotel does not violate these terms.
Trump’s spokesman responds: “Harassment”
A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said in a response Friday that the report was incorrect, but did not provide further information. “This report is nothing more than ongoing political intimidation in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and defame Trump in pursuing their own agenda,” the organization said in a statement.
Congressional Democrats say the Public Security Agency blocked their investigation of Trump’s companies while he was still president, but in July 2021 the agency finally released a number of documents.
“A big advantage for a foreign bank”
The commission found that Trump was funneling millions of dollars through other companies, making it difficult for the General Intelligence Agency to enforce regulations preventing him from making profits from the hotel. The commission also found that Trump was hiding debts when he made an offer to use the property in 2011 and that he failed to disclose favorable loan terms from Deutsche Bank AG, which financed the hotel’s renovations.
The House committee found that Deutsche Bank allowed Trump to delay repayment of a $170 million loan for six years. The Commission said Trump did not disclose “this important advantage of a foreign bank” when he became president. According to a Deutsche Bank spokesperson, this is not true, but he did not provide further details.
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Sign in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.