Alternet - January 8, 2020

One of President Donald Trump’s schemes to make money in office does not appear to be going as planned, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

In October, the Trump Organization was harshly criticized after it announced it would be selling its rights to Trump International Hotel D.C.

The Trump family does not actually own the building, which was formerly the historic Old Post Office building but has a long-term lease with the federal government.

According to The Journal, the Trump Organization has set a January 23 deadline to bid. However, the first family may not profit as much as they were hoping.

“The company was hoping initially to get more than $500 million for the lease rights, people familiar with the matter said. That would represent about $2 million per room key, which hotel brokers and investors say would be a record for Washington by that metric,” the newspaper reported. “Potential buyers have balked at that figure, and brokers have indicated the Trumps are willing to negotiate on price and other terms, said people familiar with the matter.”

When the family announced they were selling the lease, Trump organization vice president Eric Trump suggested it was because of public pressure.

“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” he said, seemingly acknowledging the appearance of impropriety.

Ethics watchdogs have argued Trump’s hotel business is unconstitutional because it allows foreign and domestic corruption in violation of the Emoluments Clauses.

Selling of the rights could allow corruption on a far grander scale than renting out the rooms at inflated prices one night at a time.
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