Trumps Put Their Washington Hotel On The Market

The New York Times

Eric Lipton & Maggie Haberman

October 25, 2019

President Trump has drawn frequent criticism for ownership of the hotel because it hosts foreign diplomats and corporate executives with business before his administration.

It is the most visible and potent symbol of the ethics debate that has dogged President Trump as he has served simultaneously as the nation’s chief executive and real estate developer with a chain of luxury hotels. And now it is for sale.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, five blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, has been put on the market, just three years after the Trump family spent $200 million to open it in the historic, federally owned Old Post Office building, and at a time when Mr. Trump is facing impeachment and a tough 2020 re-election campaign.

The Trump Organization’s announcement that it is listing the hotel with a real estate agent and wants to listen to offers came less than a week after Mr. Trump’s two roles intersected in a politically and ethically awkward way: He disclosed his intention to host the 2020 Group of 7 meeting of world leaders at the Trump National Doral resort near Miami, then had to abandon the plan after hearing from fellow Republicans that it was a bad idea.

But nothing has rivaled the steady stream of criticism — and the multiple lawsuits — accusing Mr. Trump of violating the Constitution by accepting payments at his 263-room hotel in Washington from foreign governments.

The hotel has also been a magnet  for millions of dollars in business from lobbyists, corporate executives and political groups, many of which are pushing the White House for policy actions or other favors.