New York – Former President Donald Trump’s company lost more than $70 million during his four-year term at his Washington, D.C., hotel despite taking in millions from foreign governments, on Friday by a congressional committee investigating his business. As per the documents released.
NS House Committee on Oversight and Improvement said the luxury hotel, just a few blocks from the White House, was struggling so badly that the Trump Organization had to inject $27 million from other parts of its business and delayed payments on a $170 million loan. Received preferential treatment from a leading lender.
The committee said the damages came despite an estimated $3.7 million in revenue from foreign governments, trade which ethics experts say Trump should have refused because it created a conflict of interest with his role as president.
The Trump Organization said in a statement that the Democrat-led committee’s findings were misleading and false, and that it did not receive any special treatment from the lender.
“This report is nothing more than continued political persecution in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and discredit Trump in pursuit of his own agenda,” the company said.
The committee’s documents, the first public disclosure of audited financial statements from the hotel, show huge losses despite brisk trading by lobbyists, businesses and Republican groups while Trump was in office.
Deutsche Bank’s delay in the loan to the president was an “unknown preferential behavior” that should have been reported by the president because the bank has substantial business in the US, the committee said in a letter to the General Services Administration, the federal agency overseeing hotels. The hotel has been leased by the federal government to the Trump Organization.
“The documents … raise new and troubling questions about former President Trump’s lease with the GSA and the agency’s ability to manage conflicts of interest of the former president during his tenure, when He was effectively on both sides of the contract as landlord and tenant, the committee’s Democratic co-chairs, Carolyn Maloney of New York and Gerald Connelly of Virginia, said in a statement.
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GSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s company has been trying to sell the 263-room hotel since the fall of 2019, but has struggled to find buyers during the coronavirus pandemic at an initial starting price of more than $500 million.
The loss shed new light on Trump’s refusal to ban foreign governments from patronizing his business, the head of government ethics watchdog Crew said.
“The only lifeline was corrupt business coming from people and organizations and governments,” said Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “His use of the presidency to get business was absolutely necessary to stem the flow of the deficit.”
To address concerns about potentially benefiting foreign governments, Trump promised to send payments to the US Treasury on annual earnings from his business. The payments for the first three years of his presidency totaled $356,000. Critics of the voluntary deal say Trump’s definition of earnings is unclear and gave the president plenty of room to reduce the figure.
Although the Washington Hotel was badly hurt by pandemic-related shutdowns last year, audited financial statements released by the committee show it was suffering every year, even before it was open. He lost about $50 million in the first three years of his presidency, then $22 million last year.