Dear Donald, About That Hotel
To welcome you and ease your transition to D.C., I’m writing again. I’ve already introduced you to your councilmember. Now let’s talk about your new hotel, just blocks from the White House.
“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel?” a diplomat from Asia asked the Washington Post. “Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I’m staying at your competitor?’”
“Believe me, all the delegations will go there,” explained a diplomat from the Middle East.
I know, I know, you’re not at all surprised by the success. Like you said, “occupancy at that hotel will be probably a more valuable asset now than it was before [the election].”
Of course with the big bucks rolling in, there’s bound to be a few haters.
Congressman Jim McGovern thinks you should reject all business income from foreign governments to “protect the presidency from foreign influence.”
In a letter to the General Services Administration, four other Democratic congressmen wrote:
Mr. Trump will be in breach of the lease agreement the moment he takes office… unless he fully divests himself of all financial interests in the lease.
You see, since your company leases the hotel building (the Old Post Office pavilion) from GSA, and that agency will be under your control as president, as of January 20 you’ll be “serving as both landlord and the tenant in federally owned property,” Paul S. Ryan of Common Cause said outside your hotel last week.
But you’ll be handing control of your business over to your kids, right?
Still, for Craig Holman of Public Citizen, that’s not enough. “There simply is not a separation of the conflicts of interest if the Trump family continues to run the Trump empire,” Holman said December 15 outside your hotel, before he and others delivered petitions with over 400,000 signatures.
You might remember December 15 – that was the day you said you’d make a major announcement about your separation from your company. You’ve postponed that to sometime in January – may I suggest after your inauguration?
These conflicts are probably nothing to worry about. Like you told the New York Times, “In theory, I can be president of the United States and run my business 100 percent.”