The Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto paid the Trump Organization upwards of $6 million to get out of their contract and rebrand the hotel by the name “The Adelaide.”
When Trump Tower Vancouver opened in February, so many protesters showed up that city buses had to be re-routed, according to CTV News.
Greenpeace protesters were charged with causing thousands of dollars of damage at the Trump Tower in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.
When Trump stopped in Hawaii on his way to his Asia trip, protesters marched to Trump Waikiki chanting, “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA.”
The only exception to the decline in revenue from Trump Hotels is the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., situated a block from the Justice Department’s headquarters and halfway between the White House and the Capitol Building. That hotel has come into focus once again, due to an e-mail sent by an employee of the hotel.
It’s been reported that the director of revenue management for the Trump Hotel in Washington, Jeng Chi Hung, sent that email on Sept. 12 of this year. The email opens with a few pleasantries. Then, Hung writes that he met with Trump, and that the president asked him specific questions about banquet revenues, demographics, and how his presidency impacted the business.The email says this:
The company is interesting to work for being under the Trump umbrella. DJT is supposed to be out of the business and passed on to his sons, but he’s definitely still involved… so it’s interesting and unique in that way. I had a brief meeting with him a few weeks ago, and he was asking about banquet revenues and demographics. And, he asked if his presidency hurt the businesses. So, he seems self aware about things, at least more than he lets on. I am far left leaning politically, so working here has been somewhat of a challenge for me. But, it’s all business.
“This is total nonsense,” Damelincourt said. “Upon review of the email referenced in your inquiry, we have met with the individual and he has confirmed that he made these comments up in an effort to enhance his sense of importance to a former employer. In fact, this individual confirmed to me today that he has never met the President nor did any conversation ever take place. We are continuing to investigate this matter internally.”
The president has long maintained that he has separated himself from his many business interests.
“What I’m going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” he told reporters at a Trump Tower press conference shortly before his inauguration. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me.”
Despite that, Trump has spent a significant amount of his time as president visiting his own businesses. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a good-governance watchdog group, calculated that he has visited one of his properties –– including his golf club in Northern Virginia, his Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach, and his hotel in downtown Washington D.C. –– about one of every three days he’s been in office.
While the e-mail, if true, would confirm that Trump is still actively involved in the hotel business, the more troubling problem is that Trump still has a financial interest in the hotels. This is a major conflict of interest. “Presidents for decades have divested their assets so as to avoid even the appearance of them worrying about their business interests,” he added. “With Trump, it’s becoming hard to tell which of his jobs is his top priority.”
The opulent lobby of the Trump hotel in Washington has become a de facto clubhouse for so-called Deplorables. Internet-famous Trump supporters like Mike Cernovich, Roger Stone, and Lucian Wintrich have all made appearances there.
On Oct. 27, the hotel was the site of a surprise birthday dinner for Ivanka Trump that Jared Kushner, Melania Trump, and the president himself all attended. It was the president’s third time dining at the hotel in October, according to the log CREW keeps. A host of lobbying groups looking to influence the Trump administration have also had events there, and foreign diplomats also frequent the hotel.
Two other Trump properties have also drawn major national prominence over the first year of his presidency: Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The president has been unabashed about his affection for what he’s dubbed “the Winter White House,” which reportedly doubled its membership dues after the election. After signing a controversial tax overhaul, he announced to diners there that they “just got richer,” according to CBS News. And while transparency advocates have been suing the Secret Service for access to the club’s visitor logs, the administration has refused to budge. And when the president ordered a missile strike on an airfield in Syria, his billionaire commerce secretary Wilbur Ross described the display as “after-dinner entertainment.”