Hotel appears to flaunt mask rules—again—as commander-in-chief’s business profits from soldier under Trump’s command—again
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 in its owner’s chain of command.
As part of D.C.’s phase two reopening, on July 22 Mayor Muriel Bowser mandated that businesses open to the public require guests to wear masks. But photos 1100 Pennsylvania obtained via social-media posts and additional open-source information provided by American Bridge 21st Century, a pro-Democratic super PAC, show guests at both the ceremony and reception without face coverings. (In fact, your correspondent was unable to spot even one mask in any of the photos.)
Additionally, Bowser’s order requires people to wear masks outdoors “when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time.” Yet the couple’s photos show members of the wedding party mingling and posing maskless in front of the hotel.
There’s no shortage, of course, of Trump customers violating social-distancing and face-covering guidance. This July, a D.C. investigator inspected the hotel after the president appeared maskless in the lobby, but found no violations of COVID-19 regulations at the time, reported Fenit Nirappil and Julie Zauzmer for The Washington Post.
The groom being a soldier in the Army is just the latest example of the president profiting off members of the U.S. armed forces. For example, the Trump Hotel D.C. received at least $26,000 in revenue by hosting an Army regiment’s annual ball in 2019. The event was paid for via ticket sales and fundraisers.
The couple also directed their guests to book rooms at the commander-in-chief’s D.C. hotel. So in addition to profiting off the soldier’s ceremony and reception, the hotel took in money from his family members and friends—many of whom also are soldiers under Trump’s command.
Trump's now visited his properties 57 times since first reports of coronavirus
President Donald J. Trump has made 57 visits to Trump businesses since Chinese officials reported a cluster of cases of acute respiratory illness on Dec. 31, 2019.
Since 1100 Pennsylvania last updated its tally on Aug. 17, the president has
golfed at his Sterling, Virginia course on Aug. 22, 23, 30; Sept. 5, 6
met with supporters at his D.C. hotel on Aug. 27, Sept. 12
stayed at his Las Vegas hotel on Sept. 13–14
(President’s schedule via the indispensable Factba.se.)
COVID-19 has killed more than 194,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Hotel’s handbook bars ‘actual or potential’ conflicts
The September/October 2020 issue of Mother Jones has a couple of articles on the Trump Hotel D.C. by your correspondent (new reporting in them too!):
“Stay to play: Inside the sordid history of Trump’s DC hotel—And why the president’s prized property could be headed for a reckoning.”
“The 8 types of people you meet at the Trump Hotel: A field guide to Trumpworld’s ‘breeding ground.’”
Mother Jones also obtained a copy of the hotel’s staff handbook. And, as Russ Choma reported, the ethics and nepotism sections make for fun reads.
Other notable sightings
A glimpse of the foreign officials, government employees, politicians, lobbyists, and the like who patronize or appear at Trump businesses. Most people shown here have reasons to want to influence the Trump administration, rely on its good graces for their livelihoods, or should be providing oversight. Additionally, high-profile guests serve as draws for paying customers.
Several dozen young Jewish conservatives gathered for a safe pre-Rosh Hashanah happy hour. “All local health regulations were followed,” according to an attendee. Speakers included Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX); Trump campaign advisor Boris Epshteyn; and the campaign’s finance director, Falicia Mandel.
President Trump’s former special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, gave an interview to Middle East-based channel i24NEWS.
Colton R. Overcash, a strategic advisor for immigration and border security at the Department of Homeland Security, enjoyed a drink at the president’s hotel. Overcash made the pic his Facebook profile photo too.
Political consultant and managing director of the Log Cabin Republicans Charles Moran and designer Andre Soriano got close and maskless.
Links to rundowns of developments in the House’s investigations and lawsuits, reference sheets for some of 1100 Pennsylvania’s previous reporting, and articles that provide the background on why all of this matters. The date published or last updated is in parentheses.
House investigations (Aug. 17, 2020)
Lawsuits (Aug. 17, 2020)
Breakdown of judges’ rulings by political party of presidents who nominated them (July 13, 2020)
Health inspections (Jan. 27, 2020)
COVID-19 bailouts and charity (July 13, 2020)
Notable hotel customers
Foreign governments with representatives spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 32 (Aug. 3, 2020)
Trump cabinet members spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 27 of 35 (July 1, 2020)
U.S. Senators who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: 33 of 53 Republicans, one Democrat (Feb. 21, 2020)
House Judiciary members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Seven of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (April 21, 2020)
House Intelligence members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Four of eight Republicans, no Democrats (June 1, 2020)
House Oversight members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Nine of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (Aug. 2, 2020)
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Four out of six Republicans, one Democrat (July 1, 2020)
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) found Trump’s hotels competitive only after Trump’s election (Sept. 12, 2019)
Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel D.C: A retrospective (April 30, 2019)
25 unimpeachable examples of Trump profiting from his hotel: Foreign governments, Trump administration, GOP lawmakers, industry all have called on the Trump Hotel D.C. since its owner became president (Sept. 27, 2019)
“Power tripping in the swamp: How Trump’s D.C. hotel swallowed Washington
The MAGA social scene is a movable feast, but its dark heart resides within the Old Post Office Building, where the Trump Org operates under a mercenary charter” by your correspondent for Vanity Fair (October 2019)
“Inside the world’s most controversial hotel: The hotel that was expected to take its place among the crown jewels of D.C.’s travel scene has become a magnet for protestors, a West Wing Annex, and—possibly—the center of a constitutional crisis.” by your correspondent for Condé Nast Traveler (May 2018)
Upcoming key dates
Sept. 23, 2019—House Judiciary Committee hearing “Presidential corruption: Emoluments and profiting off the presidency” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)
Sept. 14, 2020—Discovery ends in a one-time Trump appointee’s lawsuit against the Trump Hotel D.C., alleging glass from a sabered bottle of champagne left a gash in her chin.
Sept. 20, 2020—Scheduling conference before D.C. Superior Court in D.C. attorney general’s lawsuit alleging improperly spent nonprofit funds by the Trump Hotel D.C. and Trump’s inaugural committee.
Oct. 15, 2020—Deadline for State Department to start turning over documents related to its spending at Trump properties in response to a lawsuit filed by The Washington Post.
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