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NEW YORK – Former President Donald Trump’s company lost more than $ 70 million at its Washington, DC hotel during his four-year tenure, despite winning millions from overseas governments, according to documents released by a congressional committee on Friday who investigated his business.
The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform said the luxury hotel, just blocks from the White House, was in such trouble that the Trump Organization had to inject $ 27 million from other parts of its business and receive preferential treatment from a major lender Received a $ 170 million loan to delay payments.
The committee said the losses came despite an estimated $ 3.7 million in revenue from overseas governments, a deal that ethics experts Trump should have turned down because it poses conflicts of interest with his role as president.
The Trump Organization said in a statement that the results of the Democrat-led committee were misleading and false and were not receiving special treatment from a lender.
“This report is nothing more than ongoing political harassment in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and defame Trump in pursuing their own agenda,” the company said.
The committee’s records, the hotel’s first ever release of audited financial statements, show heavy losses during Trump’s tenure despite brisk business from lobbyists, corporations and Republican groups.
Deutsche Bank’s alleged loan delay to the president was “undisclosed preferential treatment” that the president should have reported because the bank has significant business in the United States, the committee said in a letter to the General Services Administration, the federal agency the hotel supervise. The hotel is leased to the Trump Organization by the federal government.
“The documents … raise new and worrying questions about former President Trump’s lease with the GSA and the agency’s ability to manage the former president’s conflict of interest during his tenure when he was effectively on both sides of the contract, as a landlord and Tenants. ”Democratic co-chairs of the committee, Carolyn Maloney from New York and Gerald Connolly from Virginia, wrote in their letter.
The GSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For its part, Deutsche Bank said in a statement that the committee made “several inaccurate statements” about the loan agreement but refused to provide details, citing concerns about the privacy of the loan.
The committee’s letter to the GSA stated that the hotel losses contradicted the “exaggerated picture of financial success” the president presented in personal financial reports he sent annually to a federal ethics agency. But those reports only require the disclosure of revenue, not profits, an apples and oranges comparison that one of Trump’s sons picked up in a tweet that blew up the committee.
“Please learn the difference between gross sales and net profit before you write us long letters,” wrote Eric Trump, calling the committee “incompetent”.
Trump’s company has been trying to sell the 263-room hotel since fall 2019, but struggled to find buyers at a reported initial asking price of more than $ 500 million during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government’s chief ethics observer, CREW, said the losses shed new light on Trump’s refusal to ban foreign governments from patronizing his business.
“The only lifeline was the corrupt business of people, organizations and governments trying to influence him,” said Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “Using his presidency to do business was absolutely essential to contain the leakage current.”
To allay concerns about conflict of interest, Trump pledged to remit payments to the U.S. Treasury Department annually for foreign government revenues from his business. The committee said Washington hotel payments under this deal exceeded $ 350,000 for the first three years of his presidency. Critics of the voluntary agreement say Trump’s definition of income is unclear and has given the president plenty of leeway to keep the number too low.
Although the Washington hotel was badly hit by the pandemic shutdown last year, the audited financial statements released by the committee show it suffered every year it was previously open. It lost nearly $ 50 million in the first three years of its presidency and then lost $ 22 million last year.