Donald Trump is preparing to move his hotel to a iconic Washington building, where campaigners, donors and representatives of foreign governments have gathered, willing to spend a lot in hopes of gaining some influence with the former president.
The Trump International Hotel in the US capital is housed in a building reminiscent of 19th century Romanesque style with its doors closed.
The Trump organization sold the building’s lease to a $ 375 million investment fund, which plans to reopen the hotel in the first months of 2022 under the name Waldorf Astoria.
Built in the 1890s, the 12-story Tower (formerly Post Office) is the third tallest building in the US capital and the state property.
The demolition was ordered several times, and construction was saved short when Donald Trump promised to invest $ 200 million in its renovation in 2011.
So, in 2013, the Public Service Administration (GSA), which manages the federal real estate park, proposed to the Trump organization with the option of extending the 60-year lease agreement for another 40 years.
The hotel opened in the fall of 2016, just months before Donald Trump entered the White House.
“This is a place (Trump) is so proud of,” then-White House spokesman Sean Spicer told his first news conference in January 2017.
“Conflict of Interest”
Upon taking office, Donald Trump handed over control of his real estate empire to his two eldest sons, promising not to interfere in the operation of his assets.
In fact, the former president promoted every opportunity he had, and the Trump International Hotel, which costs $ 12,000 a night in the Franklin suite, retains its influence.
Anti-corruption NGO CREW reports that during his presidency, 150 officials from 77 foreign countries crossed the assets of the Republican billionaire.
U.S. political groups have spent $ 3 million to organize about 40 events at a hotel on the famed Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Donald Trump should never be allowed to own his hotel,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder.
“The law is completely on my side, and presidents can have no conflict of interest,” Trump defended himself in 2016 when asked about mixing his president’s privileges in promoting his real estate empire.
Short term hotel
The survival of the Trump International Hotel was short-lived.
A parliamentary inquiry has found that the hotel lost more than $ 70 million during the Trump administration, citing its “gross overstatement”.
The Trump organization called the statement “deliberately misleading, irresponsible and misleading” and “political harassment.”
The Business Committee did not respond to AFP requests for comment.
However, many American media outlets say the hotel faces a very low occupancy rate, especially due to the epidemic.
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