Foreign governments paid to stay at Trump properties: report

President maintains financial interest in properties

Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Getty Images)
Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Getty Images)

A new report shows that several foreign governments and affiliated groups have paid for events at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Public Citizen, a liberal-funded watchdog group, released the report, noting that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his delegation stayed at the hotel in September 2017. A firm tied to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid $270,000 last year for lodging, parking and catering at the hotel during a lobbying campaign to overturn a law that allows terrorism victims to sue foreign governments, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Kuwait embassy, the Turkey-U. S. Business Council and the American Turkish Council also stayed at the hotel, according to the report.

“The motive varies from event to event, but a number of these seem clearly for the purposes of ingratiating with the president,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, told the Journal.

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The report also found that 16 trade groups spent money at Trump Organization properties. A petroleum coke and sulfur company led by William Koch, Oxbow Carbon LLC, held its holiday party in December at Mar-a-Lago.

The Trump Organization, run by the president’s sons, has indicated that it will transfer money it receives from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury but hasn’t provided information on how that money is tracked. President Trump no longer runs his development firm, but has kept a financial interest in the company through a trust that can be drawn from at any time.

FEC records also show that Trump’s re-election campaign spent more than $630,000 last year on Trump properties, with most of the money going toward rent for its headquarter space at Trump Tower in Manhattan.  [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel 

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