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Foreign governments spent over $750,000 at Trump hotel, report shows

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/14/2022 Jacqueline Alemany
The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The hotel profited from lavish spending by foreign officials during Donald Trump's presidential term. © Alex Brandon/AP The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The hotel profited from lavish spending by foreign officials during Donald Trump's presidential term.

Officials from six nations spent more than $750,000 at former president Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington as they were trying to influence his administration, according to documents turned over to congressional investigators.

The records obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform from Mazars USA, Trump’s former accounting firm, show that the governments of China, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates spent more money at Trump International Hotel — renting rooms for up to $10,000 a night — than previously known as they sought to influence the Trump administration’s foreign policy.

“These documents sharply call into question the extent to which President Trump was guided by his personal financial interest while in office rather than the best interests of the American people,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the committee, said in a statement Monday. “These documents, which the Committee continues to obtain from Mazars, will inform our legislative efforts to ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”

The hotel records show lavish spending by foreign officials. Malaysia’s prime minister spent $1,500 on a personal trainer during his eight-day, $259,724 stay at Trump’s hotel, for example, and the Saudi Defense Ministry spent $85,961 at the hotel for members of a Saudi delegation, which included $10,500-a-night suites. Officials from Qatar spent more than $300,000 over three months ahead of a meeting between Trump and the Arab country’s emir.

The Oversight Committee’s findings from financial documents build on extensive reporting by The Washington Post detailing how Trump’s hotel profited from foreign governments during his time in office and the blurred lines between his business and his administration.

Last year, Maloney and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) released hundreds of pages of financial documents related to the Trump property from the General Services Administration — the agency that leased the federally owned property to Trump’s company — and estimated that the Trump hotel had received $3.7 million over three years in payments from foreign governments.

Trump and the Oversight Committee reached a deal in September after years of litigation that would finally allow the panel to see a limited range of Trump’s records with Mazars to review his compliance with presidential ethics and disclosure laws.

The records released Monday cover a limited period, but Maloney has requested additional documents from the National Archives, including all documents and communications related to the Trump hotel or hotel stays at Trump-owned properties, documents and communications related to foreign payments to the Trump hotel, and documents and communications related to Chinese or Russian tourism at the Trump hotel or stays by Chinese or Russian officials.

The committee also found that Republican lobbyists with close ties to the Trump administration who were working on behalf of these countries spent tens of thousands at the Trump hotel during the same periods.

Elliott Broidy, vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee and vice chairman of the Republican National Committee at the time, stayed at the Trump hotel “for four nights during the Malaysian Delegation visit and spent $5,345 over the course of September 2017,” Maloney wrote to acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall in a letter laying out the committee’s findings. Broidy later pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and admitted to secretly lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Malaysian and Chinese interests.

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