What was Tommy Tuberville doing in the Trump Hotel D.C.?

Despite his denials, photos appear to show Tuberville in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lobby the night before the Capitol insurrection

Photos posted on social media appear to refute a U.S. Senator’s claim that he was not at the Trump Hotel D.C. for a meeting with top loyalists to President Donald J. Trump the night before insurgents stormed the Capitol.

From “Photos, posts put Tuberville in Trump’s hotel on Jan. 5 despite him denying meeting” by Eddie Burkhalter for the Alabama Political Reporter [bold added]:

The night before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville and the then-director of the Republican Attorneys General Association met with then-President Donald Trump’s sons and close advisers, according to a social media post by a Nebraska Republican who at the time was a Trump administration appointee. 

Charles W. Herbster, who was then the national chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee in Trump’s administration, in a Facebook post at 8:33 p.m. on Jan. 5 said that he was standing “in the private residence of the President at Trump International with the following patriots who are joining me in a battle for justice and truth.”

Tuberville, through a spokeswoman Tuesday, told APR that he did not attend a Jan. 5 meeting at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

In addition to an Instagram photo posted on Jan. 5 showing the senator in the Trump Hotel D.C. and was included in the APR article, a photo posted to Facebook the morning of Jan. 6 also puts Tuberville in the hotel’s lobby. (1100 Pennsylvania first reported about this photo on Jan. 7.) That Facebook post is no longer publicly available.

A Jan. 5 interview Tuberville gave to Newsmax’s Sean Spicer (and pinned to the top of the senator’s Twitter profile) shows him wearing the same blue striped tie as in the photos from the Trump Hotel D.C. “We need to fight for President Trump tomorrow,” Tuberville said [0:35 mark]

Tuberville’s office has not replied to 1100 Pennsylvania’s inquiries about when the photographs were taken and what brought Tuberville to the hotel. Similarly, emails sent to an address appearing to belong to the Facebook user who posted the picture, an event planner and Atlanta resident, asking for details about the photo, including why it’s no longer publicly available, did not receive a reply. Text messages and calls to a phone number connected to her name did not go through.

In addition to Tuberville, social media posts obtained by attorney and professor Seth Abramson and political analyst Cheri Jacobus said that other attendees at the Jan. 5 Trump Hotel D.C. meeting included Trump loyalists Trump Organization EVPs Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; former National Security Advisor and Trump pardon recipient Michael Flynn; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani; White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro; 2016 Trump campaign officials Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie; Trump Victory finance chair Kimberly Guilfoyle; GOP donor The MyPillow Guy (Michael Lindell); and the executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association, Adam Piper.

Earlier on Jan. 5, RAGA had “sent out robocalls urging supporters to come to D.C. to ‘fight” Congress over President Trump’s baseless election fraud claims,” reported Andrea Salcedo for The Washington Post on Jan. 11.

Additional photos posted to Instagram on Jan. 5 show Flynn, Don Jr., and a prominent peddler of false voting-fraud claims Phil Waldron at the Trump Hotel D.C. The Flynn and Don Jr. photos were first reported by Edie Burkhalte for APR.

As for when the Facebook picture of Tuberville was taken, your correspondent took a screenshot of the photo 56 minutes after it was posted, according to the Facebook post’s time stamp. 1100 Pennsylvania’s records show the screenshot was taken at 8:19 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, meaning the photo of Tuberville at the Trump Hotel D.C. was posted to Facebook at 7:23 a.m on Jan. 6. The picture likely was taken at night, as the hotel lobby’s roof consists of 1,000 panes of glass, yet the space is dark and in need of electric lights.

All that means this photograph of Tuberville at the Trump Hotel D.C. was taken the evening Jan. 5 or earlier.

1100 Pennsylvania was able to verify the time the screenshot was taken via Hunchly, an application your correspondent uses that “automatically creates a transparent audit trail for your online investigations.”

While in the end, the meeting didn’t result in Trump retaining the presidency, it was a good day for the Trump Hotel D.C., as 1100 Pennsylvania previously reported: its lowest available rate the night of Jan. 5 hit $8,000 and the hotel’s in-room dining enjoyed a record-breaking week.


Other Trump Organization news


Reference section

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.

Trackers

Notable hotel customers

Summaries

  • Stay to play: Inside the sordid history of Trump’s D.C. hotel—And why the president’s prized property could be headed for a reckoning” by your correspondent for Mother Jones (September 2020)

  • 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)


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