Some troubling news has come to light about President Donald Trump and his family business empire.
A report by Mother Jones Friday claims:
On Tuesday afternoon, Donald Trump sat down with hotel executives who pleaded with the president to assist the beleaguered hospitality industry with a multibillion-dollar bailout. The meeting, also attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, highlighted a massive conflict of interest: Trump derives much of his fortune from hotels and golf clubs, and his properties have been battered by the coronavirus outbreak. If he bails out the hotel industry, he will also be bailing out himself.
Trump has made money many different ways over the years—or tried to—but since taking office, his hotels and resorts have been the mainstay of his personal wealth. Though Trump made big bucks in the last decade selling condos and other properties, that business has almost entirely dried up since he became president. His once-lucrative reality TV career is also on hold. But Trump’s 11 hotels and 16 golf resorts have continued to produce revenue in recent years. Of the $434 million in revenue the president disclosed in 2018, at least $336 million came from his hotels, resorts, and golf clubs.
In the meeting, hotel execs asked for a $150 billion bailout.
“I don’t know,” Trump said when asked if his business would accept stimulus money. “I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected, so it’s one of those things.”
At a press briefing on Saturday, Trump was probed about the pandemic’s impact on his many businesses, particularly Trump-branded hotels worldwide. “I wouldn’t say (business is) thriving when you decide to close down your hotels and your businesses,” he replied. “It’s hurting me and it’s hurting Hilton and it’s hurting all of the great hotel chains all over the world.” Plus added, “It’s hurting everybody.”
In addition Trump told reporters, “I would think it would be a good practice to close (hotels) down.” He argued, “You don’t want people getting together, and at hotels and clubs you get together. I would think it would be a good practice to close them down.”
The New York Times adds Executive Vice President and son Eric Trump expressed, “All of the associates in our company are family, and we are all awaiting the moment this pandemic is defeated so we can reopen and get back to work, running the best assets in the world.”
General manager of Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club David Schutzenhofer announced it would close nearly all of its facilities. “These are unusual times, stay safe, and we will update you as events develop. If we can do anything for you please let us know. Wash your hands!”
CEO of Hilton Worldwide Christopher Nassetta revealed the company planned to close, at least temporarily, almost all of its operations in major cities. He declared, “Hilton’s been around 100 years—we’ve never closed a hotel that wasn’t going to be demolished or rebuilding.” And further, “The bulk of our hotels in the major cities are closing as we speak.”
Executive secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 25, John Boardman which represents more than 170 staff members with Trump’s Washington hotel stated, “The industry is devastated.” Then asserted, “It is devastated in the near term, and what we are starting to see is a round of longer-term cancellations as the uncertainty increases. We are not expecting people to be called back to work any time soon.”
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If Trump decides to bail out his family business would that be a conflict of interest?