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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 09:21 AM


By Michelle Cottle

For anyone attempting to understand Donald Trumpís presidency ó to really grasp its essence ó the place to look isnít the White House or the federal agencies or even the Supreme Court, with its expanded conservative majority. The lurid heart of Trumpist Washington lies within the grand, Romanesque-revival building at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, Northwest: the Trump International Hotel.

Built at the close of the 19th century, the structure originally served as the cityís main post office, a towering tribute to public service. Under Mr. Trump, it now stands as both a monument to and a tool for advancing the endless spectacle of self-dealing and corruption that has come to define this president, his family and much of his administration.

On any given day, a glut of lobbyists, lawmakers, foreign agents and other favor-seekers come through the Trump International, schmoozing with administration bigwigs ó on occasion the president himself ó and spending gobs of cash. This ritual not only strokes the presidentís ego ó What a swank place you have here, sir! ó it enriches his family business, ownership of which Mr. Trump has refused to divest himself.

We arenít talking about a few overpriced martinis or breakfast meetings but, rather, some serious, high-dollar hobnobbing. In the six months ending in March 2017, the government of Saudi Arabia spent at least $270,000 at the hotel. The National Shooting Sports Foundation dropped at least $62,000 there in 2018, according to a Times report last weekend, which also noted that the National Automobile Dealers Association has used it as a base for meetings with policymakers, spending close to $80,000. Groups hosting posh events there range from the Philippine Embassy to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to the FLC Group, a Vietnamese conglomerate. (Those who responded to The Timesís inquiries denied inappropriate motives.)


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Zorro Oct 17 OP
bullimiami Oct 17 #1

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 09:27 AM

1. Need to apply fully the Emoluments clause and take back every penny trump has profited.

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