Despite its wishes, Trump Org welcomed these foreign gov't officials in 2018

Welcome to 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter devoted to President Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. (and his other companies). President Trump, of course, still owns his businesses and can profit from them.

If you like what you see, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a paying member ($5/month or $50/year). If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.

Despite Trump Org’s wishes, foreign government officials can’t stop popping up at Trump properties

On Feb. 20, 2019, the Trump Organization donated $191,538 to the U.S. Treasury, which it claimed represented its 2018 profits from foreign governments. As was the case the previous year, when it cut a check to the treasury for $151,470, the president’s company provided no details about how that precise-looking figure was calculated.

In response to an inquiry sent to Trump Organization EVP Eric Trump and spokesperson Amanda Miller asking how the figure was computed and if independent auditors verified the calculation, Miller replied with the same quotes attributed to Eric that you’ve probably read elsewhere.

  • “It is our great honor to donate $191,538.00 to the United States Treasury. This voluntary donation fulfills our pledge to donate profits from foreign government patronage at our hotels and similar businesses during our father’s term in office.”

  • “Unlike any other luxury hospitality company, we do not market to or solicit foreign government business. In fact, we go to great lengths to discourage foreign government patronage at our properties.”

Despite that company’s deterrents, its foreign-government profits increased 26 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. And tonight, for the third year in a row, the Trump Hotel D.C. is hosting the Kuwaiti embassy’s national day celebration. (Maybe in 2020 the Kuwaitis will finally get the message and stop renting out the hotel’s grand ballroom.)

Here are some of the foreign government officials who eschewed Eric’s advice and were spotted at the Trump properties in 2018. First, some caveats:

  • for most of these sightings, we do not know who picked up the check (and, while some officials said they did not use government funds, their claims usually have not been verified)

  • it’s possible some foreign officials spotted in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lobby spent no money at all and we’re just hanging out

  • this list is not exhaustive; it’s likely many foreign government officials’ visits went unreported

What we do know, of course, is that

  • these foreign government officials were spotted at Trump properties in 2018

  • President Trump still owns his business and can profit from it

  • if President Trump divested himself of his business, we wouldn’t be wondering if he were profiting from foreign governments

All-year

  • “Trump Tower officially lists the tenant as the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, but make no mistake who’s paying the rent: the Chinese government, which owns a majority of the company.” By Dan Alexander and Matt Drange for Forbes.

February


March

April

May

June

  • The Philippines held its national day celebration at the Trump Hotel D.C. The ambassador said the event was paid for by his friends, whom he did not identify. Ambassador Jose Manuel “Babe” del Gallego Romualdez and minister for economic affairs Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga posed with then-Rep. Jerry Weller (R–IL).

  • At the World Gas Conference (not held at a Trump property), Energy Sec. Rick Perry hosted a dialog with foreign governments and industry. One of the World Gas Conference’s hotels—and the most expensive one at that—was the Trump Hotel D.C. (It’s not clear if any meeting attendees did in fact stay there though, but the option was provided to them.)

July

September

Hotel’s managing director wants you to know he has a busy week. Here’s why!

Posted yesterday by the Trump Hotel D.C.’s managing director, Mickael Damelincourt, on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter:

Here’s just some of what’s keeping Damelincourt busy this week (“#success”):

Noteworthy sightings

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was at his boss’s hotel where lobbyist Art Estopinan “congratulated him on an AWESOME JOB!!!” Estopnian has an impressive list of U.S. and foreign clients.

It appears the Florida Association of Broadcasters reception is what brought Ross back to his boss’s hotel.

Martyn McLaughlin of The Scotsman—a must follow for info on Trump’s businesses in Scotland—shared this photo of the Chinese consul general at Trump Turnberry.

Senior advisor to the counselor to the secretary for energy policy at the Department of the Interior, Joshua Campbell, partied at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night. Campbell is a political appointee of Trump’s. Saturday night Mar-a-Lago hosted a $500/ticket (and up) celebration of President Trump.

Other Trump Organization news

House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 21, 2019)

  • Financial ServicesSent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24.

  • Foreign Affairs—Chair Rep. Elliot Engel (D–NY) “plans to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s businesses are driving foreign policy decisions, including whether Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution in the process” per CNN on Jan. 23.

  • Intelligence—On Feb. 6, chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D–CA) issued a statement that said his committee would investigate links or coordination between the Russian government/related foreign actors and individuals associated with Trump’s businesses, as well as if foreign actors sought to compromise or hold leverage over Trump’s businesses. During an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Feb. 10, Schiff said the committee will investigate Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, a major lender to the Trump Organization. Earlier, on Jan. 24, the committee sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank.

  • Oversight and Reform—Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D–MD) staff “has already sent out 51 letters to government officials, the White House, and the Trump Organization asking for documents related to investigations that the committee may launch,” according to CBS News on Jan. 13. In a Feb. 15 letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings said the committee received documents showing a White House attorney and one of Trump’s personal attorneys provided “false information” to the Office of Government Ethics regarding Michael Cohen’s “hush-money payments.” A Feb. 20 memo from the majority laid out the scope for the Feb. 27 hearing with Michael Cohen. Topics include the Trump Hotel D.C.

  • Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management—Transportation committee chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D–OR) and subcommittee chair Dina Titus (D–NV) sent a letter to GSA administrator Emily Murphy on Jan. 22 asking for all communication between the GSA and members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened in 2016, any guidance from the White House regarding the lease, and whether or not Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are recused from participating in decisions regarding the property. GSA has “sent a partial response and the subcommittee is reviewing it,” according to a senior House staffer familiar with the situation. When hearings begin, it is likely that Murphy will be the first person called to testify, according to a person familiar with the subcommittee’s plans.

  • Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight—The subcommittee held its first hearing on “legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns” on Feb. 7. “We will ask the question: Does the public have a need to know that a person seeking the highest office in our country obeys tax law?” said chair Rep. John Lewis (D–GA). Experts in tax law testified.

Legal cases, current status (latest change, Feb. 22, 2019)

Health inspections, current status (latest change, Aug. 10, 2018)

  • ❌Hotel: five violations on May 7, 2018; two were corrected on site

  • ❌BLT Prime and Benjamin Bar: nine violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ❌Sushi Nakazawa: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ✔️Banquet kitchen: no violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ❌Pastry kitchen: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ✔️Gift shop: no violations on May 7, 2018

  • ❌Employee kitchen and in-room dining: five violations on Aug. 10, 2018; two were corrected on site

One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)

“U.S. Cyber Command operation disrupted Internet access of Russian troll factory on day of 2018 midterms” by Ellen Nakashima for The Washington Post

Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a paying member ($5/month or $50/year). If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.