Trump D.C. Hotel Leasing Center We have failed to address ethical and constitutional disputes, the report said

The General Services Administration has "washed its hands of any responsibility" to review whether the salary categories of the Constitution are being followed

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source: https://ibb.co/6tHk94s

The state-owned leasing agency Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., has failed to assess the moral and constitutional conflict caused by then-President Donald Trump's refusal to leave the area, a new congressional report said.

A report by the House Transport and Infrastructure Committee, obtained only by NBC News, found that the General Services Administration did not track foreign government payments to a hotel or disclose the origin of the more than $ 75 million loan made by Trump and his family to strengthen. its troubled finances.

The GSA has "washed its hands of any responsibility" to review whether the Constitutional salary scales are being followed, the report said, including trying to ensure that foreign aid does not benefit Trump. The agency did not take any steps to identify the costs of foreign or local government officials and used "unbalanced checks" to ensure that hotel rates for those payments were "accurate, complete and accurate," the committee found.

The hotel, located in the Old Post Office Building just down the road from the White House and the favorite hangout of Republican representatives and lawmakers, reported more than $ 350,000 for foreign government officials between 2017 and 2019, the committee said, along with a separate one. . An ANC report in October found that the hotel received an estimated $ 3.7 million in payments from foreign governments during that difficult period.

Representatives of at least 22 foreign governments have spent money on various Trump buildings, including a hotel, during the first few years of his presidency, NBC News previously reported.

Although the hotel was "always benefiting" with foreign government support, it lost more than $ 71 million between the "soft opening" in September 2016 and this past January, when Trump left office, a new report noted. "The hotel operated with a loss of 33 out of 53 months" during that four-year period, he said.

To save the struggling hotel, Trump and his three grown children - Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump - borrowed more than $ 75 million, eventually repaying an estimated $ 72 million in those loans, the report said; The hotel, on the other hand, has repaid less than $ 3.5 million in loans, it said.

Although the loan came from companies set up to manage the Trump family's financial interests at the hotel, "the GSA has not made any effort to determine the source of the loan and whether the final source of funding has created constitutional concerns," the report said.

In addition, while Trump transferred his hotel ownership to a trust controlled by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and long-time Trump Organization chief financial officer Allan Weisselberg after the 2016 election, a report said Trump's refusal to split. his financial interest. the hotel was "in trouble" and "created a lot of conflict between the people who were interested in them during the presidency when he and the GSA refused to settle down properly."

For example, the report noted that GSA political candidates were responsible for making the country 's real estate decisions that “had an impact on the assets of the president and his rivals.”

Democrats on the committee prepared the report after receiving 14,000 pages of new GSA records that they had requested two years earlier but had not been provided during Trump's administration, including previously unpublished financial records from the hotel.

In a statement to NBC News, Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Said the report "brings to light the GSA's gross negligence on the part of the Old Post Office lease agreement and its commitment to uphold and protect US Constitutional wage provisions. . ”

"The GSA has kept Americans in the dark about the hotel's poor financial health, and more importantly who was spending money on the hotel and how it might have affected Trump's administration," he said.

The report also found that the GSA had not taken any action in response to the inspector general's recommendation to review the provision of certain lease agreements stating that government officials would not be a party to it by removing ambiguities related to the Constitutional salary clauses. Instead of eliminating the ambiguity of the provision, the organization "expanded the ambiguity of conduct, leaving even a few cautionary lines to prevent conflicts of interest between senior government-appointed officials, including the President of the United States," the committee said.

Despite the hotel's financial problems, the Trumps company recently reached an agreement to sell hotel rights for $ 375 million, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. The report said Miami-based investment company CGI Merchant Group was in the process of acquiring a hotel lease and had reached an agreement with Hilton's Waldorf Astoria Group to manage the property. CNN reported Tuesday that the Trump Organization has officially notified GSA of its proposed local sale.