President Donald Trump continues to win at one thing: He’s the king of the infamous shell game. Try if you dare to wager on where he’s hidden the shell, or in this case, his money.
At the center of the latest of Trump’s short-cons is his Washington D.C. luxury hotel. According to newly released confidential filings by his accountants to the hotel’s landlord, the General Services Administration (GSA), he lost more than $70 million from 2016 to 2020. Awwww, poor twice-indicted, one-term president. How embarrassing.
So, what do you do when you’re ashamed of your failing business? Well, if you’re Trump, you lie and only report your revenue to the Office of Government Ethics—to the tune of nearly $156.6 million.
While everyone thought Trump was winning, his accounting firm, WeiserMazars LLP, disclosed the reality in confidential reports to GSA that the hotel lost nearly $73.9 million.
The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform called the discrepancy of the Trump International Hotel records “troubling.”
The hotel is located in the historic Old Post Office building that the Trump Organization leases from the federal government.
Additionally, the committee uncovered that the hotel received over $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments, an obvious conflict of interest, and a breach of a clause in the U.S. Constitution that clearly states: “apart from this fixed salary, the President shall not receive any other Emolument” from the United States or any state government.”
“In deciding to conceal the Trump Hotel’s true financial condition from federal ethics officials and the American public, President Trump hid conflicts of interest,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Gerry Connelly, D-Va., the committee chair and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, respectively wrote Friday.
But the con game continued, as the committee alleges that Trump hid more than $20 million in loans his real estate holding company made to the struggling hotel. He was trying hard to look like a big shot as his hotel was, in reality, hemorrhaging money.
“Far from being a successful investment, the Trump Hotel was a failing business saddled by debt that required bailouts from President Trump’s other businesses,” the committee wrote.
The committee’s investigation also uncovered that in addition to lying about the hotel’s revenue, Trump hid debts he had from the GSA while bidding on the lease for the property in 2011.
But, one of the most egregious (if there is a “most” egregious when it comes to Trump) moves was somehow convincing the Deutsche Bank to give him “a significant financial benefit” on his loan while he was in office—allowing him to postpone payments on the $170 million for the hotel, the committee said.
“Mr. Trump did not publicly disclose this significant benefit from a foreign bank while he was president,” the committee said.
“For too long, the president has used his complex network of business holdings to hide the truth about his finances,” New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the committee, says. “The committee will continue to vigorously pursue its investigation until the full truth comes to light so that Congress can address the unresolved ethics crisis left by Trump and prevent future presidents from profiting off of the presidency.”