Trump's New York hotel turned a profit, thanks to help from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Trump is personally enriching himself from this transaction, causing ethical and constitutional concerns.
Foreign government officials are lining Trump's pockets by staying at his hotels. In fact, Trump's New York hotel turned a profit for the first time in two years in large part because of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
In a new report from the Washington Post, through "close industry relationships" between the Trump organization and Saudi Arabia, the Trump Hotel in New York was able to host many of those accompanying the Crown Prince. In a letter obtained by the Post, this visit was a major factor in the hotel turning a profit in the spring of 2018.
This trip was not the first time Saudi government officials indirectly gave money to Trump. In 2017, Saudi Arabian officials spent more than a quarter of a million dollars at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Saudi Arabia was the very first country Trump visited as president. And now that country's Crown Prince is helping to bolster Trump's lackluster hotel industry.
"Such transactions have fueled criticism that Trump is reaping revenue from foreign governments, even as he controls U.S. foreign policy toward those countries," reports the Post.
New York isn't the only place where Trump's corrupt behavior is drawing attention.
There is currently a lawsuit filed by Maryland and Washington, D.C., against Trump for violating the constitution's emoluments clause. This part of the constitution states government officials cannot profit from foreign entities. Unlike previous presidents, Trump refused to completely sever his ties to his businesses, and thus directly profits when foreign officials stay at one of his properties.
The lawsuit only covers Trump's D.C. hotel.
"We are one step closer to stopping President Trump from violating the Constitution’s original anti-corruption provisions," D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said after a federal judge agreed to let the lawsuit move forward.
Foreign governments aren't the only one seeking to curry favor with Trump through staying at his hotel. A report from Public Citizen turned up companies, trade groups, and even candidates running for Congress helped add to Trump's bottom line through hosting events at one of his properties.
Trump "has very constantly refused to conform to well-established norms about conflict of interest and corruption and the appearance of corruption," Georgetown University law professor John Mikhail told the Post.
The new report from the Post about Trump's New York hotel is just the latest in a long line of ethically dubious and possibly unconstitutional behavior from Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.