President Donald Trump‘s family-owned hotel, which sits just a few blocks down the road from the White House, recently upsurged their pricing for a few key dates in late August. Those dates just so happen to coincide with the nights on and surrounding the 45th president’s planned acceptance speech at the White House.
“Just a coincidence I’m sure,” whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid sarcastically mused in a Twitter post making his derisive tenor clear.
Originally reported by Daily Beast’s William Bredderman, Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. is currently charging between $795 and $2,070 per night for dates beginning August 27–the same night Trump will officially accept the Republican Party’s nomination. With taxes and fees included, however, those prices jump to between $913 and $2,379 per night, according to Hotels.com.
“When it comes to the Trump Hotel, DC, there’s a clear correlation between rate hikes and Trump events in the area, even though it is both one of the most expensive hotels in the city and generally fairly empty,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Communications Director Jordan Libowitz told Law&Crime in an email. “At this point, we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a giant rate hike tied to rumors of a big Trump event at or nearby the hotel.”
The GOP has struggled to find a formal launching pad for their presidential candidate. Plans for the gala and speech to occur in Jacksonville, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina have already fallen through due to the renewed novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On Wednesday, Trump told Fox and Friends that he was leaning heavily into the idea of giving his speech from the White House.
“Well we are thinking about it,” he said. “It would be easiest from the standpoint of security. We are thinking about doing it from the White House because there’s no movement. It’s easy, and I think it’s a beautiful setting and we are thinking about that. It’s certainly one of the alternatives. It’s the easiest alternative.”
A flurry of muted disapproval from his own party and standard denunciations from Democrats quickly followed.
Trump dismissed those concerns during a Wednesday evening press conference.
“It is legal, Trump told a press assemblage in response to concerns raised by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) regarding the law that prohibits federal officials from using their office to electioneer. “There is no Hatch Act because it doesn’t pertain to the president.”
Trump’s understanding of the law is correct–it does not apply to the president or the vice president.
“If I use the White House, we save tremendous amounts of money for the government in terms of security, traveling. If we go to another state or some other location, the amount of money is very enormous, so that’s something to consider also,” he continued. “I think it would be a very convenient location and by far the least expensive location.”
Perhaps the least expensive option for the party and the public–but also an apparent financial boon for the president and his family.
Standard rates at Trump’s D.C. hotel start at $495 per night for most of the month of August. The price rise begins a few days before the GOP convention is scheduled to commence–on Monday, August 24–at $695 per night. Those prices hold steady until the date Trump officially begins his re-election bid on August 27.
The upswing in cash for proximity to the president–while staying in the glitz-dripping pension touting his name in gold represents something of a 60-percent jump and lasts through the weekend. Standard value pricing of $495 per night returns on Sunday.
And, while likely legal, the appearance of money-guzzling impropriety viz. the president’s official position and financial position is always a ripe point of interest.
“The president has time and again shown us that if he can shoe-horn aspects of his presidency into a way to personally enrich himself, he will do so and this is no different,” national security attorney Bradley P. Moss told Law&Crime.
[image via Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images]
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