Recap: Trump's D.C. hotel at inauguration
Welcome to 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter devoted to President Donald Trump’s Trump Hotel International 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. If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.
Trump inauguration funds flow to Trump's hotel
The [Trump] inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, according to interviews as well as internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica…
If the Trump hotel charged more than the going rate for the venues, it could violate tax law. The inaugural committee’s payments to the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s role have not been previously reported or disclosed in public filings.
In honor of that scoop, let’s flashback to some sightings from Trump’s inauguration weekend at the Trump Hotel D.C.:
Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, listened to the President-elect/innkeeper speak and hung out with then-incoming National Security Advisor /now admitted felon Michael Flynn and Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker (R).
Ibrahim Hassan Al-Asmakh, one of Qatar's wealthiest businessmen, chatted with Donald Trump Jr. (photo no longer publicly available on Instagram).
Konstantin Nikolaev, the Russian billionaire who reportedly backed Maria Butina, was seen at the hotel (per Rosalind S. Helderman for The Washington Post):
Nikolaev was spotted at the Trump International Hotel in Washington during Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, according to two people aware of his presence…
It is unclear if Nikolaev also attended any official inaugural events, but he was seen at Trump’s D.C. hotel, which served as hub of inauguration celebrations. His spokesman declined to comment on what he was doing there.
And while Trump promised to separate his administration and organization, the hotel’s managing director Mickael Damelincourt and other hotel staffers went all out for the inauguration. Of course, as Pro Publica and WNYC just reported, “what a day!!!” it was for the hotel too.
U.S. Representatives ask Saudi ambassador to explain hosting vets in Trump’s hotel
On Friday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D–CA) and 11 other members of Congress—all military veterans, all Democrats—sent a letter to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, asking for details about his country’s “role in sending U.S. veterans to lobby Congress against a bill the Saudis opposed.” These efforts including booking 500 rooms—at a cost of more than $270,000—at the U.S. president’s hotel.
Trump Hotel D.C. event headliner named acting White House chief of staff
This September, Mick Mulvaney headlined “nonsectarian Christian institution” Hillsdale College’s annual Constitution Day celebration at the hotel. Friday he picked up another job in the Trump administration, becoming the acting chief of staff. (Watch his remarks to hear him start with a disclaimer that he’s talking in his personal capacity but then at 18:42 mention getting feedback from his staff on a draft of his speech.)
Embattled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was at her boss’s hotel and found to be “a great lady.” Recently 7-year-old Guatemalan Jakelin Caal died in the custody of Nielsen’s department, which it didn’t disclose for a week.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was willing to listen to this patron of her boss’s hotel.
Former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka was back at the Trump Hotel D.C. In October, Gorka’s book launch party was at the hotel; it’s a book President Trump plugged on Twitter. Gorka’s posing here—at a hotel owned by the commander-in-chief who also oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs—with representatives of the Brothers in Arms Foundation, which supports fallen and injured special operations Marines.
A Khashoggi Way sign made a stop in front of the hotel.
U.S. Senate staffer Alexandra Elise Alford dined at BLT Prime.
Former U.S. intelligence officer turned Trump 2020 advisor and TV pundit, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Ret.) returned to the hotel and posed by the tree.
Connor Semelsberger’s “first office Christmas party is in the books. What a beautiful venue and even more beautiful date!” He works for the Family Research Council.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Dec. 17, 2018)
UPDATED: DC and MD attorneys general’s emoluments lawsuit—Discovery started Dec. 3 and is scheduled to run through Aug. 2, 2019. So far the AGs have subpoenaed the Trump Organization; the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Treasury and the GSA; and the state of Maine.
Official capacity—On Nov. 30, Trump’s Justice Department attorneys asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay pending their appeal.
Individual capacity—On Dec. 14, Trump’s personal attorneys appealed the denial of their motion to dismiss the case, also to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The AGs have until Dec. 19 to reply to Trump’s motion for a stay pending that appeal, with the president’s attorneys’ response to AGs’ filing due Dec. 21.
196 Democratic senators and representatives’ emoluments lawsuit—On Sept. 28 judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the legislators have standing to sue. Trump’s Justice Department attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal on Oct. 22.
Cork’s unfair competition lawsuit—Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed the case on Nov. 26, writing “Cork has failed to state a claim for unfair competition under D.C. law.” On Dec. 10, Cork’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal.
Employees’ class-action suit alleging racial discrimination—A status hearing on arbitration is scheduled for Jan. 25, 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
Other Trump Organization news
Rudy Giuliani said that Donald Trump knew Michael Cohen, was working on the Trump Tower Moscow deal “all the way up to...November of 2016” in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.
“New Jersey’s top law enforcement agency is looking into claims of widespread harassment and immigration fraud at President Trump’s Garden State golf club after several former and current housekeepers alleged racially-charged mistreatment.” By Chris Sommerfeldt for The New York Daily News.
“Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation,” by David A. Fahrenthold, Matt Zapotosky, and Seung Min Kim for The Washington Post
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “talked about his plans for conducting an investigation that will be parallel to Mueller’s, probing Trump’s connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other places around the world,” by Jeffrey Toobin for The New Yorker
OSHA’s investigation into the death of a window washer who fell at Trump Las Vegas could take six months, per Joe Nelson for WKVU–TV.
“Property developers and golf-course owners often have their plans stymied by wetland protections (why Mr Trump might be sensitive to their plight remains a mystery). Fore!” By The Economist in “The White House rolls back a rule on polluting wetlands.”
Consultancy Alvarez & Marsal’s private equity group held its annual meeting and 10th anniversary party Trump’s Doral golf course.
A Trump Hotels ad popped up in an interesting place for this Boston Globe reader.
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
“After Charles Barkley’s mother passed away, a cat litter scientist from Iowa showed up at the funeral. ‘Everybody’s, like, “Who’s the Asian dude over there?”’ Barkley recalls. ‘I said, “That’s my boy, Lin.”’” By Shirley Wang for WBUR
Thanks for reading. If you like what you saw, tell someone. If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.