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Trump’s Washington Hotel A Massive Conflict Of Interest

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Trump’s Washington Hotel A Massive Conflict Of Interest

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The General Services Administration, which manages property owned by the federal government, including the Old Post Office housing the Trump International Hotel, has said the lease would violate federal conflict-of-interest rules once the Republican businessman is sworn in on Jan. 20, according to a letter to the agency from lawmakers.

The letter referred to a Dec. 8 briefing to congressional staffers by a GSA official whom the letter did not name.

“The Deputy Commissioner made clear that Mr. Trump must divest himself not only of managerial control, but of all ownership interest as well,” Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland and three other Democrats said in the letter, which was made public on Wednesday.

The hotel is a few blocks from the White House and has become a rallying point for anti-Trump protesters since it opened in September. It is among businesses that could create unprecedented conflicts of interest for Trump, a New York real estate developer and former reality TV star.

Trump’s company has not responded to the GSA’s concerns about the potential conflict, the Democratic lawmakers said. They asked the agency for documents about the lease, profit and expense projections and legal memos about the conflict of interest.

The hotel lease includes a standard GSA provision barring members of Congress or other elected federal officials – such as the president – from having any part of it.

Trump has said he will draw up documents that will remove him from day-to-day business operations. He had planned a Thursday news conference to disclose details, but put that announcement off until next month.

Trump will address the hotel issue in January, spokesman Jason Miller told reporters.

The GSA said in a statement it could not speak definitively about divestment until Trump’s financial arrangements were completed and he had become president.

Federal law does not prohibit the president’s involvement in private business while in office, even though lawmakers and executive branch officials are subject to conflict-of-interest rules.

But most presidents in recent decades have placed their personal assets in blind trusts so they do not know how their decisions influence their personal fortunes.

Trump has said he plans to avoid the conflict issue by transferring control of his businesses to his oldest three children.

But the U.S. Office of Government Ethics said in a letter to Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware on Monday that such a transfer would not qualify legally as a blind trust nor eliminate conflicts of interest.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson and Emily Stephenson; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

IMAGE: Flags fly above the entrance to the new Trump International Hotel on its opening day in Washington, DC, U.S. September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

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25 Comments

  1. yabbed December 14, 2016

    Donald Trump is only interested in being president as a money making device for himself. He’s not going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He’s not going to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US. He’s not going to do anything but end Social Security and Medicare, make business deals all over the world, and rob the country blind.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 14, 2016

      So true, and when his followers figure that out, they might realize that they, too, have been conned!!

      Reply
      1. jmprint December 15, 2016

        Never, they will never figure it out, zombies can’t.

        Reply
    2. InGen12 December 15, 2016

      The fact that his companies made $11 million just during the campaign should tell everyone where he’s headed with the presidency. He always said when he ran for president, he’d make money doing it.

      Reply
    1. I Am Helpy December 15, 2016

      Nobody can see your dumb images, you senile Nazi closetcase.

      Reply
  2. dpaano December 14, 2016

    I would love to see the GSA take the hotel away from him (and his children)! Wouldn’t that be a spit in his eye!!

    Reply
    1. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 15, 2016

      better to see DONNY DUMP (and one can be sure the EGO greedy SOB will ) keep pulling his B/S and get himself impeached and thrown in jail

      Reply
  3. Wolfesgang December 15, 2016

    The U.S. government is as fallible as anything human will be. But in the event of “collateral damage”, the U.S. has had the decency to publicly admit and apologize, and perhaps even pay damages. Now is Putin or his cronie-oligarch government ever going to do any such thing when it comes to supporting those who have lost their lives or livelihoods or property in Putin’s deliberate indiscriminate bombings of Syrian hospitals, doctors, and civilians? You can bet he is not going to. And Trump’s government is going to let him get away, no qualms at all. What Samantha Power said recently before the U.N. Security Council was spot-on from top to bottom. We’re not going to be hearing anything like it from Trump’s cronies in the years to come, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  4. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 15, 2016

    of course DONNY DUMP is backing down from what he said to get elected he is a compulsive , pathological liar . he is deranged in what little brain he might have in that EGO filled head . by right a Psychiatrist DR. should be giving him and or anyone that is going to be POTUS a full examination . he lies and he believe it as truth . again its just all feeds his addiction of seeking attention and now (as the same he did with all his brain dead followers ) telling people what thy want to hear . he is a slimy snake and has been planning for (pretty much his whole greedy life ) a way to scam money . make no mistake about him , his plans and what he will try to do . and get away with it .think of what kind of con , fraud , scamming , greedy clown he is and has been . now he is playing his whole life game on the USA and the world . rest a sure there will be many off shore accounts to come . more then likely he will be having his brain washed kids moving out of the country to get to the money out there when he wants it . and them being brain washed thy can only say yes daddy . you see he plans his daughter in the first lady spot already . so one can see this as his wife will be sleeping in a spare room bed . one has to wonder what his daughter’s hubby thinks about sharing his wife with his father in law . yes its always been a sick house the dumpster kept . with rape women beating and so many sexual assaults on so many women . now thy wont come forward any more like people say to do tell and report any sexual assaults and rapes don’t let people get away with it . thy say why ?/// when the 12 or 13 and one can be sure there’s many many more . you report it and your called a lier .even when one is caught on tape saying just how he dose it and then there’s the pedophilia in Trump. I don’t car if one knows there’s under age girls in a dressing room and he walks in that’s a crime

    Reply
  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 15, 2016

    Donald himself is a massive conflict of interest. There are just too many sordid and salacious avenues leading to and away from Donald. But the glitz factor which he has in abundance is so enticing for the average Jane and John Doe of America that it blinds them to the reality of the sludge emanating from Donald. To Donnie, all this talk of conflict of interest and global warming are hoaxes planted by the Chinese.

    In the meantime, his pals in Syria, Assad and Putin, are hammering a beleaguered Syrian population resulting in a crime against humanity, ostensibly to rid Aleppo of remaining resistance, with non-stop bombardment.
    Do Donnie and his adoring Red Zone fans care? Not Donald—He’s too busy selecting like-minded billionaires, racist elements, and assorted “tokens” for his plan to turn the WH into “The White House Trump Tower and Resort”.

    Reply
  6. dpaano December 15, 2016

    Again, I hope the GSA makes Trump sell the hotel to someone else (not a family member or a crony), but knowing Trump, he’ll probably “sell” it to someone and make sure that he can buy it back for the same amount once he’s out of office…..he’s just that sneaky!

    Reply
  7. FireBaron December 15, 2016

    But there is no conflict of interest because Teflon Donnie has already declared himself above the law!

    Reply
  8. jmprint December 15, 2016

    If he can’t divest, he must quit.

    Reply
  9. Jim Samaras December 15, 2016

    Are you people delusional enough to think that the owner of a business would not know how moves he makes as president may effect his former interests even if in a trust?

    Reply
    1. johninPCFL December 22, 2016

      That’s EXACTLY the problem. The manager of a blind trust has the freedom to remove any and all entities, so the former owner has no idea whether the trust even owns any items that his actions may affect.

      Agent Orange’s actions may still have a direct bearing on his companies, and he has direct visibility to those effects. So, in the Syrian conflict, will Putin’s requirements that he back Assad affect our relationship with our Nato ally Turkey, and will Turkey react by cancelling operating permits for his hotel? Will he then spend $billion of taxpayer money to send unneeded military hardware there so he can keep his kids in new jeans?

      Reply
      1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

        His worth is not tied up in stocks john it’s in real estate. It’s not like the manager can divest the interests like in that of a hedge fund. Do you really blame him for not wanting to sell some of the most valuable properties in the world? The moves in other countries will be made for the betterment of America. I feel way more confident saying that of DT than I ever would have with HC and her Clinton Foundation!

        Reply
        1. johninPCFL December 22, 2016

          The point exactly. He cannot divest, so conflicts of interest are inevitable. The moves everywhere in the world will certainly be made for Agent Orange’s benefit, whether the rest of us benefit or not.

          He’s been doing things that way for 70 years, why would he change now?

          Reply
          1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            He’s the leader of the free world now, but reread my original post. If he doubles his net worth, so what?

            Reply
          2. johninPCFL December 22, 2016

            Sure, he doubles his net worth by selling our nuclear weapons stockpile to Russia as scrap. Why else appoint Governor Good Hair to run the DoE? Or puts all of the frackers in Montana out of business. Why else appoint Tillerson to run State?

            Reply
          3. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            Why speculate? Sounds smarter if we wait to see what he really does.

            Reply
          4. johninPCFL December 23, 2016

            I’m too old for fairy tales. Why would I believe that he’d change his ways after 70 years? For him, it’s always been about what he could get, anybody else be damned, and this is just a bigger desk from which to extract what he wants.

            Nothing more.

            Reply
          5. Jim Samaras December 23, 2016

            Well, I trust him to do the right thing until proven otherwise

            Reply
          6. johninPCFL December 23, 2016

            The people who filed 1500+ lawsuits against him did too. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.

            Reply
  10. Jim Samaras December 15, 2016

    Would it be such a problem if the economy hums along at 3-4% for the next 8 years, we build the wall, Mexico pays for it, we end illegal immigration, with Russia’s help we defeat ISIS and put an end to the nonsense in the middle east and at the end of his terms he’s worth 20B? So what?

    Reply

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