Trump appointee has nonprofit director book his BLT Prime table

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.

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Trump appointee asked non-profit director to book his dinner reservation at the president’s hotel

A President Trump appointee on the Southern States Energy Board asked its managing director to make him a dinner reservation at BLT Prime, a request she honored.

Eddie Joe Williams is the sole federal representative on the SSEB, a non-profit compact of 16 southern states and two territories with a mission to “enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs, and technologies.” Williams, a GOP state senator in Arkansas (and the one-time majority leader) before vacating his seat upon Trump’s designation, collects a U.S. government salary via the Department of Energy for his job at the SSEB.

On March 18, 2018, pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies’ senior policy advisor, Martha Boneta, posted a photo on Instagram of her celebrating her birthday at Trump’s D.C. hotel with Williams (fourth from left) and three other Arkansas politicians.

In response to a FOIA request 1100 Pennsylvania submitted after seeing that photo, the SSEB reported that Williams had asked the its managing director, Kimberly Gray, via the phone to book his dinner reservations at the president’s hotel. SSEB’s director of business operations, who replied to the FOIA request, emphasized (bold text!) that SSEB staff did not attend the dinner, pay for it, or reimburse Williams for his meal.

Williams did not reply to an email inquiring why he asked the SSEB’s managing director to make his dinner reservation rather than just calling the hotel himself.

Pro-Trump super PAC borrowed from an unusual source to fund summit at president’s hotel

Three days ago, 1110 Pennsylvania reported that super PAC Women Vote Smart owed $40,000 to the hotel for its Women for America First Summit. The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay dug into it and uncovered some details:

The event was so expensive, it seems, that the group was forced to take out a separate loan just to cover the sum it paid up front.

But that loan didn’t come from a bank or any other traditional source of credit. Instead, WVS took out a line of credit from an obscure company called the U.S. FED Group the day before its payment to the Trump hotel, FEC records show. The zero-interest loan was for $18,623.37, suggesting WVS put up $30,000 for that October payment to the hotel and borrowed cash to cover the difference. As collateral on the loan, WVS offered up the proceeds from its Trump hotel event.

Markay goes on to point out WVS’s “principal is Alex St. James, an obscure Republican activist who’s been occasionally cited in news stories since he was certified as a candidate in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election.”

Noteworthy sightings

Fox News’ Gina Loudon was back at the hotel, sporting a shiny campaign pin bearing the innkeeper’s name. Loudon is a regular at Mar-a-Lago and the hotel (where she had a book party); President Trump has tweeted praise for her book.

Sputnik radio host Lee Stranahan, mentioned in Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian military officers, complained about propaganda airing on CNN above the hotel’s bar. (Fun fact: Stranahan loves BLT Prime.)

Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale and Fox News pundit, Trump campaign advisor, and political consultant Harlan Hill caught up.

The chairwomen of the Alabama and Oklahoma GOP chatted with Hill about politics and SEC football.

And Hill struck a pose with a former Trump political appointee at USAID turned chief of staff at Hill’s consultancy, Allan Betz.

Pennsylvania Young Republicans celebrated themselves with RNC co-chair Bob Paduchik (reportedly about to join the Trump campaign) and Parscale at the head of the party’s hotel.

New campaign expenditure

Mike Pence’s Great America Committee spent another $142.20 at Pence’s boss’s hotel on Nov. 13, bring its total disbursements at Trump properties to $124,586.20.

Legal cases, current status (latest change, Dec. 14, 2018)

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

  • President Trump will spend 16 days at his Mar-a-Lago club over the holidays, Christine Stapleton reports for The Palm Beach Post.

  • The window washer who fell to his death while working at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel Wednesday has been identified as a 27-year-old father of two, Jonathan Garcia, according to Caroline Bleakely of Las Vegas Now. Garcia’s family is holding a car wash to help pay for his funeral expense.

  • “Vivendi eyes stake in Trump partner’s Indonesia TV arm” by Fathiya Dahrul, Manuel Baigorri, Fox Hu, and Joyce Koh for Bloomberg

  • “President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s interest-rate increases as a drag on U.S. economic growth. They’re also cutting into his own fortune. Every time the Fed raises rates, Trump’s payments on some $340 million in variable-rate loans go up. Since his January 2017 inauguration, the Fed’s steady rate hikes may have added a cumulative $5.1 million a year to his debt service costs.” By Shahien Nasiripour for Bloomberg.

  • The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wonders what Trump Org CFO Allan Weisselberg may be telling investigators (me too!).

  • “Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters. He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth.” – Michael Cohen to ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos

One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)

The “Springsteen on Broadway” soundtrack was released today. It should be all you listen to for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you saw, tell someone. If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at or on Signal at 202.804.2744.