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.
Spa by Ivanka Trump Instagram accounts debut
When the D.C. hotel promotes its spa on social media, it usually avoids using the proper name: The Spa by Ivanka Trump. On Twitter, for example, it appears to have used the full name just twice.
Ivanka Trump, of course, now works in the White House as an advisor to the president, her father and fellow hotel co-owner.
Yesterday, however, an Instagram account bearing the name The Spa by Ivanka Trump name and the username @thespabyivankatrumpdc made its debut post. As three of its nine followers include the hotel’s verified account, one of its concierges, and the other spa bearing Ivanka’s name (in the Trump Vancouver hotel), it seems likely the account is legit. (Hotel reps have not replied to an email asking if the account was authentic.)
The Trump Hotel Vancouver is home to the only other Spa by Ivanka Trump; the thespabyivankatrumpvancouver Instagram account just debuted seven days ago. (The hotel has been less reluctant to promote its spa by name on Twitter.)
While Ivanka was involved with the company’s spas in her role as Trump Organization executive vice president, the D.C. and Vancouver spas are the first to which her own name has been attached.
In early 2016, your new favorite publication, Spa Business, reported The Spa by Ivanka Trump would be “rolled out across Trump’s nine existing hotels, as well as future properties." Other than D.C. and Vancouver, there’s no evidence of this rollout though. When I sought comment from Ivanka on the brand and its expansion plans last year while researching a feature article on the hotel for Condé Nast Traveler, a publicist replied, “Ivanka Trump has taken a leave of absence from the Trump Organization and no longer has any connection to the spa.” (This turns out to be only partially true, of course: While she may no longer take part in operational decision-making, Ivanka's ownership stake in the D.C. hotel has paid her $2.4 million from its opening to June 2017).
A follow-up request at the time to interview someone—anyone—at the Trump Organization about spa plans went unanswered. While silence is their right, of course, it’s rare to find a spa publicist not willing to talk to Condé Nast Traveler.
The D.C. hotel’s managing director, Mickael Damelincourt, and spokespeople for both the Trump Org and its D.C. hotel have not replied to an email asking to verify the Instagram account’s authenticity and, if it is legit, why they chose to start promoting the spa by name now and if doing so means that Ivanka’s increasing her involvement in the business.
Former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka sat by the hotel’s Christmas tree and pitched his book. In October, Gorka’s book launch party was at the hotel; it’s a book President Trump plugged on Twitter.
He didn’t tag it, but it appears failed U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan John James (R) posed by the hotel’s tree for a Christmas tweet. James’s campaign spent $4,500 at Trump properties and picked up an endorsement from President Trump.
Fox News’s Gina Loudon—who does not have the PhD in psychology she claims but does spend a lot of time at Trump properties—posed with Rabia Kazan by the tree. The president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition, Kazan is also a director on the National Diversity Coalition for Trump.
Kazan also went cheek to cheek with Martha Boneta, pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies’ senior policy advisor.
New campaign expenditure
The Conservative Roundtable, a PAC affiliated with George Holding (R–NC), spent $140.50 on Oct. 20 at the hotel’s steakhouse.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Dec. 17, 2018)
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
“Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow project despite Giuliani insisting he didn't” by Kate Sullivan for CNN
“Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit” by David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post
“Trump Estate met with hostility after plans for U.K. hotel scrapped in favor of 550 houses” by Amy Dobson for Forbes
Trump Tower has enough office vacancies that it has a promotional video:
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
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, ssecurely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.