Donald Trump Sells Off Jewel of His Hotel Empire Amid Conflict of Interest Probe

Donald Trump's flagship hotel in Washington, D.C. is set to be sold off for $375 million, following reports the business is hemorrhaging money and amid an ongoing investigation into his lease of the hotel from the federal government.

The Wall Street Journal reported that The Trump Organization has reached a deal with the investment fund CGI Merchant Group to purchase the lease for the Trump International Hotel, located a short distance from the White House.

As part of the deal, CGI Merchant Group is expected to remove Trump's name from the hotel, which was a key gathering spot for supporters and allies during his time as president.

The move follows previous reports the hotel lost more than $70 million while Trump was in office.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform found in October that the Trump Organization injected $27 million from other parts of the business and had to get help from a major lender in order to delay payments on a $170 million loan.

Trump opened the hotel in 2016 when he was Republican nominee for president. When he was elected president, he resigned from his companies in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

However, he handed over the running of his businesses, including his hotels, to a company run by his children, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has since been investigating if there were conflicts of interest after the General Services Administration (GSA) allowed the Trump International Hotel to maintain its lease on the Old Post Office building, which was awarded in 2013, when Trump became president.

In 2019, an inspector general report alleged that lawyers for GSA "ignored the Constitution" when deciding to maintain the lease on the hotel.

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson said that the House committee would continue to investigate "conflicts of interest and potential constitutional violations raised by Donald Trump's lease of this hotel from the federal government" while he was president.

"That won't be fully resolved by selling off this hotel."

In a statement to Newsweek, a GSA spokesperson said: "To date, we have not been formally notified by the tenant of its intent to transfer its leasehold interest in the Old Post Office."

Even before the pandemic hit, Trump Internal Hotel was already struggling financially. According to audited financial statements seen by The Associated Press, the hotel lost nearly $50 million between 2016 and 2019 and nearly $22 million in 2020.

The Trump organization denied the claims, describing the report from the committee as "continued political harassment in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and defame Trump in pursuit of their own agenda."

The hotel is also reported to be suffering from a loss of income now Trump is no longer president as people no longer feel the need to stay there.

Kevin Chaffee, senior editor of Washington Life magazine, told The Guardian in March: "The Trump hotel has been struggling for quite a while and, without him being there, people don't need to curry favor by staying there. Some embassies had their events there and they don't need to do that now."

He added: "The bar was like the White House mess but those people no longer have any reason to meet and try to find out what's happening on the scene because the man is gone. So it must be like a ghost town."

The Trump Organization has been contacted for comment.

trump hotel
Donald Trump is reportedly selling his D.C. hotel, the property once billed as the crown jewel of his real-estate empire. Noam Galai-WireImage/ Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Update 11/15/2021, 10:41 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with comment from the GSA.