Romanian PM report appears to draw hotel boss's ire

Managing director tweets it’s ‘#ignorance’ to wonder why people stay at D.C.s’ ‘#1 hotel’

On Monday, Ilya Marritz of WNYC, Justin Elliott of ProPublica, and your correspondent reported that “the prime minister of Romania stayed at President Donald Trump’s hotel during her trip to Washington over the weekend.” When the hotel’s spokesperson was contacted before the article was published, she declined to comment.

It appears, however, that Mickael Damelincourt, the Trump Hotel D.C.’s managing director, weighed in yesterday via Twitter. In short, he deemed it “#ignorance” to think clients may stay at the hotel because it’s owned by the U.S. president.

Viorica Dancila’s Trump Hotel D.C. stay, by the way, appears to have flouted the guidance of both the European Union and Eric Trump. According to EuroNews (via Google Translate), the EU recommends not to stay in private property belonging to occupiers of high public office (also, Romania currently holds the EU chairmanship, which rotates every six months). And Trump Org EVP Eric Trump has said, “We go to great lengths to discourage foreign government patronage at our properties.”

Vancouver hotel hosting Korean-Canadian investment conference tomorrow

On Thursday, K&C International Holdings is presenting an update on Korean and Canadian investments over a dinner at the Trump Hotel Vancouver.

According to its Facebook page, the event will provide “rare insight on the latest technology investments between Korea & Canada cross border trading.” The former executive director and chief of purchasing for Samsung SDI, Sung Rock Hwang, will deliver the evening’s keynote address.

The event’s organizers did not immediately respond to an inquiry about why they chose the U.S. president’s hotel as the venue to discuss international investments.

Support this reporting, become a 1100 Pennsylvania member

Reporting on the Trump Hotel D.C. and the president’s other businesses takes time. But it’s making an impact—and you can help. If you’re not an 1100 Pennsylvania member, please become one and help us continue to report on who’s spending money at the president’s hotel—and what they might be getting in return. Memberships are this newsletter’s sole source of income. Select the red “Subscribe now” button and become a member by paying $5 a month or $50 a year. Thank you.

House committee members angry at Interior over funding Old Post Office tower during shutdown

From “Interior faces questions on reorg, NPS backlog during budget hearing” by Amelia Brust for Federal News Network:

DOI once again received ire from [House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies] members for its actions during the partial government shutdown at the start of the year when NPS not only used Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act fees to cover daily operations at national parks during the event, but also kept the Old Post Office Tower at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. open. The committee has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the fees decision.

The Old Post Office tower, of course, co-locates with the Trump Hotel D.C.

Noteworthy sightings

A lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, Sarah Ferman, ate bacon at the president’s hotel with Jamie Baker, the director of public policy for Rep. John Ratcliffe (R–TX).

A county commissioner for Cleveland County, Oklahoma, Rod Cleveland (R), called the president’s hotel, which opened in 2016, “D.C.’s most iconic Hotel.” He ate breakfast there.

DCMAGA held a “Mueller Nothing Burger and Basta Bowl Happy Hour.” But, remember, people only patronize the Trump Hotel D.C. because it’s the best place in town.

Maarten Schenk, editor and CTO of fact-checking and debunking website Lead Stories, stopped by for a beer.

Members of the The Nelons, who are in the Gospel Music Association hall of fame, dined at BLT Prime. “We have a religious niche,” hotel managing director Mickael Damelincourt once said.

Susanna, the self-described “Eternally Exotic Elite Luxury Treat🍑Clandestine Girlfriend Du Jour DC,” claimed she spent a weekend at the Trump Hotel D.C. last year with a client.

Other Trump Organization news

House investigations, current status (latest changes, March 26, 2019)

  • Financial ServicesSent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24. On March 1, chair Rep. Maxine Waters (D–CA) said the bank is cooperating with her committee and that staffers from the panel have met with bank employees in New York.

  • 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.

  • Judiciary—On March 4, the committee “served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation,” according to a statement by the panel. Among the individuals the committee requested documents from are Trump Organization EVP Donald Trump Jr.; EVP Eric Trump; EVP and COO Michael Calamari; CFO Alan Weisselberg; EVP and chief legal officer Alan Garten; Trump tax attorney Sherri Dillon; longtime Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff; former Trump advisor Felix Sater; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; and Trump associate and inaugural chair, Tom Barrack. The committee received “tens of thousands” of documents by the March 18 deadline the letters set for responses, according to its chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D–NY). Among the respondents: Barrack, Steve Bannon, and the National Rifle Association. But current White House staffers, as well as some former ones have not replied yet. And GOP committee staffers said the panel only received eight replies by the deadline. Attorneys for the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump did not respond to Politico’s inquires if their clients planned to reply. The committee is considering making additional document requests, including to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The committee interviewed Felix Sater on March 21.

  • 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. On Feb. 10, Schiff said the committee would investigate Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, a major lender to 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. On Feb. 28, an aide said the panel expects to interview Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. During testimony on March 6, Michael Cohen turned over documents that allegedly show how Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, edited Cohen’s statement regarding Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen later read this revised statement before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Felix Sater, who was connected to the Trump Moscow project, was scheduled to testify in an open hearing on March 27, but that has been postponed. Schiff hired a veteran prosecutor experienced with combating Russian organized crime to lead this investigation.

  • 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,” on Jan. 13. In a Feb. 15 letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings said the committee received documents showing White House attorney Stefan Passantino and long-time Trump personal attorney Sheri Dillon provided “false information” to the Office of Government Ethics regarding Michael Cohen’s “hush-money payments.” As a result, Cummings wants to depose Passantino and Dillon; the White House, however, rejected Cummings’ request to interview Passantino. And on Feb. 27, Cohen testified to the committee about those payments and other Trump Organization business practices, which could lead to the committee requesting the president’s tax returns and allegations of possible insurance fraud. The next day, House Democrats signaled they would seek testimony from Trump Organization officials whom Cohen alleged were implicated, including Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and CFO Allen Weisselberg. On March 6, Cummings requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C.

  • 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 members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the D.C. hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened, 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. GSA has “sent a partial response and the subcommittee is reviewing it,” according to a senior House staffer familiar with the situation. 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. Titus is hiring additional staffers to handle the investigation. On March 6, Titus requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate the FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C. NPR reported on March 15 that, “Democrats on the committee want to know, among other things, whether there was any political pressure exerted on the GSA by the Trump White House, presidential campaign or transition team. They also want to know how the Trump Hotel calculates its profits, segregates incoming money from foreign governments, and what the Trump Organization owes the GSA on a monthly or annual basis.’”

  • 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, March 20, 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

Is the Trump Organization selling merchandise that depicts the White House? (latest change, March 21, 2019)


One thing that (probably) has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses

It’s up to the musicians, the comics, and the fucking journalists at this point because everything else is falling apart.”

– Mark Maron, WTF with Mark Maron, episode 998

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 Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at or on Signal at 202.804.2744.