Trump’s DC Hotels lost $70 million during his presidency 'despite reaping millions in payments from foreign governments'
During the 2016 presidential election, it wasn't uncommon to hear Republicans say they were voting for Donald Trump because "he's a smart businessman." But the Trump Organization has had its ups and downs in business over the years, and CNN reports that according to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. hotel suffered $70 in losses during his four years as president.
CNN reporters Katelyn Polantz and Veronica Stracqualursi explain, "Trump's income from the Trump International Hotel, reported in public financial disclosures dating from 2016 to 2020, totaled more than $156 million, the (House Oversight) Committee said Friday. But in that four-year period, Trump's D.C. hotel actually suffered a net loss of more than $70 million while he was president and had to be loaned more than $27 million from one of Trump's holding companies, DJT Holdings LLC, from 2017 to 2020, according to hotel financial statements the Committee obtained. More than $24 million was not repaid and was instead converted to capital contributions, the Committee said."
Those documents, according to the CNN reporters, "include details that Congress chased for years during Trump's presidency — specifically, information about foreign payments to Trump businesses, over which House Democrats unsuccessfully sued for under the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution."
"The Emoluments Clause, an anti-corruption provision written by the nation's founders, said Congress should be able to approve any gifts to officeholders from foreign governments," Polantz and Stracqualursi note. "But despite the House's years-long interest in an autopsy of Trump's finances, congressional approval of foreign payments the Trump Organization took in never happened."
Donald Trump himself was not directly involved in operating the Trump International Hotel during his years in the White House.
Polantz and Stracqualursi recall, "When he took office, Trump resigned from his companies but transferred his assets to a trust run by his sons, allowing him to still benefit financially from the D.C. hotel and his other businesses."
The Trump International Hotel's $70 million in losses during one term as president, Jonathan O'Connell and David A. Fahrenthold report in the Washington Post, occurred "despite reaping millions in payments from foreign governments, according to federal documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Friday."
O'Connell and Fahrenthold report that House Oversight Chair Carolyn B. Maloney and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia "allege the documents show that Trump received an estimated $3.7 million from foreign governments and received preferential treatment from Deutsche Bank when the bank allowed Trump to defer payments for six years on the principal of the property's $170 million loan."
In a press release O'Connell and Fahrenthold, both Democrats, wrote that the findings "raise new and troubling questions about former President Trump's lease with (the General Services Administration) and the agency's ability to manage the former president's conflicts of interest during his term in office when he was effectively on both sides of the contract, as landlord and tenant."
O'Connell and Fahrenthold report, "Maloney and Connolly also wrote a 27-page letter Friday to GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, saying the documents warranted further investigation. Previous reporting from The Washington Post showed the 263-room property was running about half empty and losing money, but the documents provide by far the most detailed accounting to date of the hotel and how Trump won the contract for the lease in 2013."
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