Yes, Donald Trump is using his presidency to make money — more money than normal while turning business losers into profit centers.
Exhibit one: The opulent — and may say ‘tacky’ — Trump International Hotel in what once was the old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.
Federal documents show Trump expected to lose around $2.l million after opening the fancy digs in the midst of what most felt was a losing campaign for President. Before the election, it was mostly empty with low occupancy rates and a restaurant with few patrons. The hotel cut rates in 1996 before Trump’s upset win for the presidency.
But the projected loss turned into a $1.97 million profit in four months, primarily after he became president and foreign dignitaries and the big money folks started staying at the hotel that charges the highest rates in Washington, DC.
Competing luxury hotels in Washington — like the Willard, Hay-Adams and Four Seasons — charge an average of $495 a night. Trump gets $652.98 on an average nightly stay at his hotel and those who stay there include some of his billionaire cabinet members while his inner circle pay high prices at the restaurant and bars.
Many of the bills, of course, are paid for by the taxpayers — which means federal funds, which means conning the government and breaking the law.
Lawsuits filed by government watchdog groups, competing businesses and some state attorney generals who say Trump flaunts his lawbreaking and laughs about the money that is rolling in. Trump claims he will donate any money paid by the many foreign government officials staying at the hotel and using the facilities to the U.S. Treasury but Trump has a long string of broken promises.
And, of yes, daughter Ivanka Trump, owns a piece of the hotel, along with a Spa. As now a White House appointee, that raises serious ethical questions.
Oregon Congressman Peter A. DeFazio calls the whole thing “a highly ethical arrangement.”
“What makes all of this particularly galling is that we now have the unprecedented situation where the President of the United States is both the landlord and tenant of a federal building,” the Democratic Rep. said in a July statement from his office.
Although Trump’s two eldest sons now claim to control the hotel, the president remains his ownership interest and profits from that holding, ignoring the top government ethics official who advised him to sell off his interest in the hotel.
Trump also profits from the 65 days he has spent at his various properties like Mar-a-Logo in Florida and his golf clubs elsewhere in the nation, where much of the funds spent by the government to house and feed him, his staff and security are paid to the his company.
The Trump International Hotel managers openly promote the use of expensive meeting space and hotel rooms to Republicans and conservatives, who are charged top dollar with no discounts.
“We are very proud of the success of the project, says Eric Trump, who runs the place with his brother, Don, Jr.
They man be the names of the ones who “run the place” but daddy gets the money.
They are proud of ripping off the government while their father destroys what little is left of the government and reputation of the United States.
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