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Trump misled public about Washington hotel finances, House panel says

The House Oversight and Reform Committee obtained documents from the General Services Administration, which leased the Old Post Office building to Trump for his hotel.
A view of the Trump hotel for our story on conflict of interest in the new Trump administration, in Washington, DC.
Pedestrians pass the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in 2016.Bill O'Leary / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump provided “misleading information about the financial situation” of his hotel in Washington while he was in office, according to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

The committee, which recently obtained documents from the General Services Administration, found that Trump reported his hotel in downtown D.C. brought in $150 million in income while he served in the White House, but the hotel actually incurred more than $70 million in losses.

“By filing these misleading public disclosures, President Trump grossly exaggerated the financial health of the Trump Hotel,” the committee said Friday in a news release.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization called the committee's assertions "intentionally misleading, irresponsible and unequivocally false" and said the former president's company had rescued a "crumbling asset which was costing American taxpayers millions of dollars each year."

"Simply stated, this report is nothing more than continued political harassment in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and defame Trump in pursuit of their own agenda," the spokesperson added.

When Trump first applied to lease the Old Post Office Building in 2011 for his hotel, he also provided the federal government with information that the committee said “appeared to conceal certain debts.” Records show Trump specifically didn’t show outstanding balances for properties he owned in other major cities like New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, the panel said.

The committee also said the newly obtained documents show that from 2017 through 2020, the Trump International Hotel in D.C. received about $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments, which it said raises “concerns about possible violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.”

While he served in the White House, Trump also received “a significant financial benefit” from Deutsche Bank that allowed him to postpone making payments on the $170 million loan 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.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the committee, said Friday that her panel will continue to pursue its probe of Trump’s lease of the property. The committee has been investigating the issue since Trump was in office.

“For too long, the president has used his complex network of business holdings to hide the truth about his finances,” Maloney said. “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.”