'Seeking to influence': Foreign officials from 6 nations spent more than $750,000 at Trump’s DC hotel
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised that if he won, there would be a strict separation between his businesses and his political activities. But according to reporting in the New York Times, foreign officials from six different countries “spent more than $750,000” at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. “when they were seeking to influence his administration, renting rooms for more than $10,000 per night.”
Times journalists Luke Broadwater and Eric Lipton, in an article published by the Times on Monday, November 14, report, “The governments of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China spent more money than previously known at the Trump International Hotel at crucial times in 2017 and 2018 for those countries’ relations with the United States, according to the documents, which were obtained by the House Oversight Committee and released on Monday.”
The foreign officials, according to Broadwater and Lipton, were big spenders.
“The Malaysian prime minister, for instance, hired a $1500 personal trainer during his stay at the Trump hotel in 2017,” the Times journalists note. “The Saudi Ministry of Defense rented several suites, costing $10,500 each, with rooms reserved under the name ‘His Excellency.’ Qatari officials spent more than $300,000 there in the weeks leading up to a meeting with Mr. Trump in 2018."
Broadwater and Lipton add, “The documents build on the public record of how Mr. Trump’s hotel brought in millions during his presidency from foreign governments. The Oversight Committee has previously estimated that the hotel received more than $3.75 million from foreign governments from 2017 to 2020, raising concerns about possible violations of the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause.”
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee, told the Times that the documents “sharply call into question the extent to which President Trump was guided by his personal financial interest while in office rather than the best interests of the American people.”
“It paints an extremely troubling picture,” Maloney commented to the Times.
Broadwater and Lipton report, “The (House Oversight) Committee disclosed the latest documents as it released a letter from Ms. Maloney to the National Archives seeking additional documents about the Trump hotel and communications with foreign governments. The National Archives confirmed on Monday that it had received the letter. Ms. Maloney said the additional documents were needed to ‘determine whether former President Trump distorted U.S. foreign policy to serve his own financial interests at the expense of the American people and in violation of his oath of office.’”
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