The year in 1100 Pennsylvania
Government spending at Trump properties, ignoring COVID-19 restrictions, and more self-dealing among top stories
While its subscriber base is modest, 1100 Pennsylvania’s reporting on who’s paying Donald Trump and what they may want in return has reached millions. The blockbuster New York Times article on the Trump Hotel D.C., for example, cited 1100 Pennsylvania as a major source. MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes and The Beat with Ari Melber invited your correspondent on to discuss the hotel. Other media outlets that cited 1100 Pennsylvania’s reporting in 2020 included The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, Salon, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Forbes, The Daily Beast, Huff Post, The New York Daily News, ProPublica and WNYC’s Trump, Inc., and Inside Edition.
Reporting for 1100 Pennsylvania takes time. A lot of time. As David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post told Trump, Inc earlier this month:
Everson “should get some sort of lifetime achievement award for his 3+ years bird-dogging the hell out of the Trump Hotel beat. I *used* to try to do the thing he’s doing (using social media to figure out what’s happening at Trump properties), so I know it’s way more work than anybody realizes.”
This newsletter is completely subscriber supported—no ads, no grants, no Soros checks. Your $5/month or $50/year will help it continue (especially important now that we’re just a few weeks away from an administration likely to be more forthcoming about government spending at Trump properties).
Here are some of the stories from the 163 issues of 1100 Pennsylvania published in 2020—
A House candidate who claimed he had the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance has met the president at least eight times, as well as other top GOP officials, often at Trump properties. – Jan. 15
A two-hour hearing on the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lease produced little new information but several more questions—especially about the lease’s possible sale. In a predictable House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee subcommittee’s hearing on the Trump Hotel D.C., General Services Administration head Emily Murphy repeatedly declined to answer questions from Democratic lawmakers regarding the possibility of a foreign entity trying to buy the building’s lease. – Jan. 28
President Trump addressed supporters at the Trump Hotel D.C. from behind a Trump Hotels lectern—the first time he’s been seen behind his logo as president. Also the meeting, where attendees prayed by laying hands on the president, was not on his official schedule. – Feb. 13
Two Trump officials celebrating their wedding in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s presidential ballroom enjoyed well wishes from President Trump himself. Special assistant to the president Stephen Miller and Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Rose Waldman, became at least the fifth and six Trump appointees to hold their wedding reception at their boss’s hotel. – Feb. 18
RNC now has reported spending $1.3 million at Doral, up from $0 before Trump became the GOP’s nominee. – Feb. 21
At least 14 of the 24 candidates—58 percent—Trump endorsed on Twitter over two days this week have supported his businesses (meaning these 14 politicians have been spotted at or their campaigns have patronized one of the president’s properties). March 4
Five of the six Republican members on a House subcommittee with oversight of the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lease have combined to direct more than $110,000 in political contributions to the president’s business. – March 5
This past weekend at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump and Vice President Pence posed for a photo with a Brazilian government official who, according to a local media report, later tested positive for the coronavirus. – March 11
With New York’s governor mandating businesses require 75 percent of their staff to work from home in response to the coronavirus, the president’s Bronx golf course suggested practicing social distancing by getting in a round of 18 today. – March 20
The U.S. Secret Service spent more than $1 million supporting President Donald J. Trump’s July 2018 two-day trip to his Turnberry golf course in Scotland, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. Of that total, the U.S. government paid almost $10,000 to the president’s business for hotel rooms, golf carts, and logistical support. – March 23
According to multiple sources, the Trump Hotel D.C. most likely has 500 or fewer employees, which would qualify it to apply for a small-business loan of up to $10 million under the stimulus package President Trump signed last week. – March 30
Monday in the White House Rose Garden during the daily COVID-19 briefing, President Trump turned the podium over to CEOs of major U.S. firms Honeywell, Jockey, Procter & Gamble, and United Technologies. Joining those leaders was Michael Lindell, better known as The MyPillow Guy after the company he steers and relentlessly advertises. Since 2015, Lindell has contributed more than $628,000 combined to 40 different Republican candidates and causes. He’s also a regular at the president’s businesses. – March 31
After a Commerce Department employee, who at least at one point had been a political appointee of President Trump’s, allegedly was lacerated by flying glass at his D.C. hotel, she received a new job with the World Bank, according to filings with D.C. Superior Court and information obtained from social media. This new job entailed advising one of the World Bank’s top leaders, the executive director representing the United States, a Senate-confirmed political appointee of the president’s. – April 9
A conservative pro-business nonprofit that’s pushing the federal government to approve hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus and has members vying for federal bailout funds has booked the president’s D.C. hotel for a pricey lunch and VIP reception in September. – April 14
The rebranded Eric Trump Foundation spent more than $193,000 holding a 2018 fundraiser at Trump Westminster according to a tax return and audit statement the nonprofit filed with the New York attorney general’s office. – April 15
A FOIA reply doesn’t support Trump’s assertion that the agency set a schedule that had him returning nightly to his Las Vegas hotel during a four-state swing. – May 10
Supposedly isolated from the Trump Organization, Sunday marked at least the 27th time the president has plugged his properties on Twitter. – May 12
In town to advocate for the president to pardon the protagonist of Netflix’s hit period piece “Tiger King,” supporters of Joe Exotic stayed at the Trump Hotel D.C. – May 20
The online Trump Store has started selling $20 American flag-themed face masks so the president’s customers can “look the part this summer.” While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings,” President Trump eschews wearing them. – June 14
The Department of Homeland Security paid more than $1,600 for a dinner at the Trump Hotel D.C.’s steakhouse in February 2019, according to documents released to ethics watchdog American Oversight. The then-senior DHS official who incurred the charge, Miles Taylor, told 1100 Pennsylvania it was for a dinner with foreign government representatives and he believed the amount the department paid covered the meals of everyone present. That payment was one of 10 the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense made at Trump properties totaling more than $5,500 between January 2017 and March 2019. – July 27
Forty-two of 79 featured speakers at the convention had helped the president profit from his D.C. hotel. – Aug. 27
The CEO of a new PPE-supplier made a hefty donation to the Trump campaign. A month later he sampled bourbons at the Trump Hotel with Sen. Paul, chair of a panel with FEMA oversight. – Sept. 4
A wedding the Trump Hotel D.C. hosted on Labor Day weekend appeared to violate Washington’s mask order. Also, the groom is a soldier in the Army, meaning the commander-in-chief’s businesses benefited financially from a member of the U.S. armed forces. – Sept. 15
The Trump Organization received another $5,700 from U.S. taxpayers, according to documents the Department of Justice released last month to ethics watchdog American Oversight. While Trump Organization EVP Eric Trump had said his company offers a steep discount to the U.S. government, all disbursements for rooms were at the maximum rate the General Services Administration allowed. – Sept. 21
“America’s Living Room” enables hate group members and white nationalists to pay the president and mingle with some of his top advisors. – Sept. 30
A ministry that trains young people to “champion a biblical worldview” paid the Trump Hotel D.C. more than $180,000 to host a 2018 conference, according to a filing the group made with the Internal Revenue Service. – Oct. 9
Just two weeks after President Trump told the group to “stand by,” Proud Boys chair Enrique Tarrio was a featured speaker at a far-right conference hosted at Trump Doral. Off the stage, photos posted on social media show Tarrio mingling with GOP House candidates, a confidant of the president, and other attendees. – Oct. 13
Of the 10 golf courses participating in the rebranded Eric Trump Foundation’s Golf for a CURE campaign, all of them are Trump properties. And in a recent Instagram post, the nonprofit, now called Curetivity, promoted the Trump businesses. – Oct. 27
Hundreds of Republicans flocked to the president’s residence-in-club late last week to mingle with GOP luminaries, raise funds for the local party, and possibly spread a deadly virus. – Nov. 2
At least six recipients of pardons or commutations from Trump have paid the president via his businesses or otherwise helped him profit. – Dec. 12
The president of a foundation that donated $85,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation later received an appointment during Donald J. Trump’s presidency to the Small Business Administration. – Dec. 14
Turning Point USA held a sold-out $2,000/person gala at Mar-a-Lago. Based on photos posted to Instagram, it appears at least 280 people attended the reception and dinner—and that COVID-19 prevention policies were not followed. – Dec. 21
After having been blocked off on the reservation calendar for six months, over this past weekend rooms at the Trump Hotel D.C. became available to book the week of the presidential inauguration. Meanwhile, the lowest room rates at the Trump Hotel D.C. for Jan. 5–6, 2021 have spiked to more than $3,600 a night. The hotel’s majority owner, President Trump, has teased an event in D.C. on Jan. 6. – Dec. 28
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