LePage attacked press, pled ignorance, took some blame

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.

Make sure you read yesterday’s 1100 Pennsylvania

Don’t let the Presidents Day holiday keep you from reading yesterday’s action-packed 1100 Pennsylvania.

LePage attacked press, pled ignorance, took some blame after being caught spending $22,000 of Maine’s money at the president’s hotel

Despite saying he had not read the article, yesterday former Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) responded to The Portland Press Herald’s scoop that he spent at least $22,000 of Maine taxpayers’ money at the Trump Hotel D.C.

Among the explanations LePage provided during his weekly Monday appearance on WGAN news radio with Matthew Gagnon and Ken Altshuler:

  • “I’m sure that the newspapers have it but they haven’t published it. We actually went around Washington and we asked many hotels to quote what rates they would give us, and we took the lowest rate.”

  • I’m not aware of ever paying $1,100 for one night at that hotel. I don’t recall ever doing that. Frankly, I will tell you this: we had a corporate rate. And if they published that, like I said earlier, I don’t read fiction.”

  • After the radio host confirmed the $1,100 per night charge was, in fact, true: “I don’t know what the rate was. Believe me, I would have questioned that had I known. I don’t know why it would have been that much. Because we have a rate.”

  • “That’s the fiction,” LePage said when a host mentioned the implication that Trump may be profiting when people coming to D.C. to meet with him stay at his hotel.

  • “Incidentally, this is the beauty about it, when the Trump Hotel opened (I think it’s rated a four star, not a five star) they gave promotional rates which were some of the best rates in Washington.” Two fact checks: It is a five-star hotel and, before its owner was elected president, the hotel did in fact have lower rates (compared to other five-star D.C. hotels).

  • “If we paid $1,100 for a hotel room in one night, shame on me. Because I wasn’t aware of it. And shame on me, because I should have been on top of it.”

  • I am very cheap with the public’s money.”

Listen to LePage’s full interview on SoundCloud; the segment on his Trump Hotel D.C. stays starts at 8:17.

Lobbyist happy hour celebrates one year of monthly meetups

The next Trump First Tuesday, a “business networking happy hour for government relations professionals [lobbyists] and friends” has been scheduled for March 5. It’ll mark one year of Trump First Tuesdays; according to the group’s Facebook Page, its first event was in March 2018. Trump First Tuesdays has brought lobbyists to the Trump Hotel D.C. every month thereafter, other than July 2018 (when the first Tuesday was the day before the Fourth of July) and January 2019 (when it fell on New Year’s Day).

Campaign expenditures

The campaign for Rep. Greg Pence (R–IN) spent another $6,511.53 at the Trump Hotel D.C. in December 2018 for a reception and lodging. The vice president’s younger brother’s campaign has now spent $30,555.88 at the president’s D.C. hotel.

Noteworthy sightings

Over the weekend, the president and first lady dined with her parents (who are naturalized U.S. citizens) at the Trump Palm Beach, two days into our new national emergency.

Guests at Trump Palm Beach mingled with the first couple, who can profit from the business. [Due to a formatting limitation, select the link to watch the videos from the first post.]

Monday’s Political Playbook SPOTTED more Trump administration staffers and a lobbyist at a Trump Organization business:

THE PALM BEACH SCENE … SPOTTED Sunday having dinner at the Trump International Golf Club: Ike and Laurie Perlmutter; Eric and Lara Trump; Chris Ruddy and Kimberly Reed, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S nominee for the Export-Import Bank; THE PRESIDENT, first lady, Barron and Melania’s parents; Mick Mulvaney and his wife; Sarah and Bryan Sanders. … TRUMP chatted with Ruddy and Democratic lobbyist Tom Quinn.

And per the White House press pool, the acting chief of staff/director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, appeared to have golfed with the president at the latter’s Palm Beach club.

The U.S. president’s hotel used a National Park Service property to promote itself.

These two Trump supporters showed off one of the Trump Hotel D.C.’s competitive advantages: it’s the sole D.C. hotel where customers can pray for the current U.S. president in a hotel he owns and can profit from.

The Trump Hotel D.C.’s director of security, Ernie Wojciech, did not care for skateboarders using the hotel’s Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

Verified Pornhub amateurs “Ben in Chloe” [sic?] posted a video they claim was shot in a public restroom at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. No Trump amenities were seen though, so 1100 Pennsylvania was unable to independently verify this claim. If legit, they’d be the third adult performers to promote a video in recent weeks shot at a Trump property, joining Candie Cane and Katrina Blacked.

Other Trump Organization news

House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 18, 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 for 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.”

  • 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 the 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. DeFazio and Titus requested a reply by Feb. 8. 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. 7, 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!)

“Religious liberty for some: Why did the Supreme Court deny a Muslim’s plea for an imam at his execution?” by The Economist

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.