Emo Lumen T
October 18, 2019 11:30 AM   Subscribe

The matter of Trump receiving emoluments has come under scrutiny, especially for stays at his DC hotel and due to his declaration that the 2020 G-7 meeting will take place at Trump Doral Resort.

The Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington have noted their objection to the Doral announcement.
posted by dances_with_sneetches (146 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
I believe there is more to say regarding emoluments and recent developments, This subject was crowding the impeachment thread even though it is not a part of the impeachment proceedings at this time.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:31 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Someone tweeted that Doral leaves emolumints on guests' pillows.
posted by dobbs at 11:36 AM on October 18 [38 favorites]


The word "emolument" makes me think of the word "emollient."

According to WebMD: "Emollients/moisturizers work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin."

Emoluments also involve greasing some palms.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:39 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


The G7 leaders could just refuse to attend. They are not powerless, particularly as a group.

And I don't really see what benefit they would get from attending, anyways.
posted by jb at 11:40 AM on October 18 [21 favorites]


My suggestion would be to attend, but book rooms at another venue.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:44 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Stay in a shitty hotel and involve an idiot in all their important conversations, or stay somewhere nice and not involve that idiot? Seems like an easy decision.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:44 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Some reactions from news sources.

Slate: Trump's Doral G-7 self-deal is worthy of impeachment all on its own.

MSNBC: Trump's G7 gambit isn't like his other emolument problems (it's worse).

The three lawsuits into his emoluments:

CREW v. Trump
DC and Maryland v. Trump
Blumenthal v. Trump
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:44 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


(Assuming there's anything worthwhile on the agenda, of course -- which is unlikely given that Mulvaney started by declaring that this conference in the currently-sinking city of Miami will not mention climate change)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:45 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


The other 6 countries might also have laws against their leaders aiding in bribery or participating in another country's corruption.

The UK certainly has one. Those leaders should be pressured by their citizens to stay home.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:45 AM on October 18 [20 favorites]


I like Mulvaney's "it's not corruption if you obscure the P&L statement" defense.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:46 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


I spent half the day picturing Merkel hunting bed bugs. She probably did, too... I think they might refuse to attend.
posted by Namlit at 11:46 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


In other emoluments news, there's that Trump hotel in Scotland that saw a lot of Air Force business.
posted by box at 11:47 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Unless Trump is smart enough to die in office, I'm living for the day when the chickens come home to roost. Or whatever entertaining phrase you choose to use describing Trump paying for his crimes.
posted by evilDoug at 11:47 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


To be fair, the construction of Doral did involve draining a swamp.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:48 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]




D.C. And Maryland’s Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump Gets A Second Chance At Life (Natalie Delgadillo, DCist)
A lawsuit arguing that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution’s anti-corruption clause will be allowed to proceed after it looked as good as dead just three months ago.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:49 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Trump’s Doral resort for the G-7? Yes, please! (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
We are so blessed in this man. A miracle, truly, that not only is this man willing to be president, but that he happened to own the best possible venue for holiday parties for the attorney general, for visits by the vice president to Ireland, for Saudi-funded lobbyists to just . . . pay for and not even stay in! Imagine a room so beautiful that you did not even trust yourself to set foot in it! Wow! Like, can you believe our luck, as a country? A lesser man might be influenced by this influx of money, but Donald Trump doesn’t care about money. That is why he hasn’t bothered to release his tax returns. They bore him!

If we’d known before electing him that not only was he all he claimed to be but also that he just happened to be the father-in-law of the one man capable of solving the Middle East, surely we would have rushed to the polls even faster. Did you know that he is even related to Ivanka Trump, a wonderful emissary for our country who sometimes, out of the kindness of her heart, will sit in on important meetings, even though she hasn’t been appointed to an official function? I would never have dreamed that such gifted individuals could come from a single family. But now, I guess, I see it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:51 AM on October 18 [39 favorites]


Someone tweeted that Doral leaves emolumints on guests' pillows.

Fucking (emolu)mint
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:57 AM on October 18


Sure, go have a G7 meeting in a hotel owned by a dude famous for wiretapping and installing cameras all over his hotels. I'm sure the various intelligence services will be thrilled.
posted by sukeban at 12:03 PM on October 18 [22 favorites]


Pitch: hold the G7 at the peanut farm we made Jimmy Carter sell...

Given Trump's rhetoric, they should hold it at Dachau.


Given Trump's policies, they should hold it at one of his migrant detention centers.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:05 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


Surely, this...

....which happens right during the heart of the 2020 reelection campaign, by the way.
posted by andreaazure at 12:07 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the other G7 leaders think about staying at Bedbug-A-Lago and if some of them are busy trying to figure out if they can avoid attending.

With all the shitty things he's done, and is currently doing, it's like the 3 million year old reptile part of Trump's brain that's responsible for the dim watt light bulb level of self conciousness he has is finally starting to realize his time as president is coming to an end. So, his default position is to grift, and grift even harder than usual, before it's too late.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:10 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Someone tweeted that Doral leaves emolumints on guests' pillows.

Pretty sure that someone is the very funny (TV's) Frank Conniff.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 12:15 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Unfortunately, snubbing Trump is not a good idea for Canada's PM (whoever that might be by that time). To quote one of his predecessors "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Not friendly and not even-tempered can mess up our economy pretty bad.
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:18 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Why is it being held at a hotel at all, and not at Camp David or on an air base or some other property that the U.S. government owns outright? Are the retinues too numerous, or are foreign heads of state worried about being spied upon (as if)?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:18 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


....which happens right during the heart of the 2020 reelection campaign, by the way.

It's as if it were a victory lap.
posted by acb at 12:20 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


The 38th summit was held in Camp David, apparently they have the capability.
posted by Marky at 12:24 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Kleptocrats are bad enough but watching someone like Trump in action is just galling. It's like watching someone take $100 bills from the public and just happily wiping his sloppy, McDonald's-gumming ass with them and then using them to light the cheapest of cigars or something equally tasteless and pointless.

Like what even is the point (for anyone) to amass that much wealth and be so impossibly boring, crass, cravenly stupid and wasteful? I mean, yeah, I know the short answer in this case in particular is likely just as simple and crass, access to sexual power and the behavioral problems of deep personal insecurities and all that, but what's the fucking point?

I mean as shitty as they were, and maybe this is rose-tinted hagiographic bullisht, but it at least seemed like the 19th century industrialists and kleptocrats had some modicum of taste and an appreciation for arts, culture, literature and more.

And more and more people like Westinghouse seem like a goddamn saint compared to today's kleptocrats. Sure, Westinghouse stood out even back then, but I might even accept a Vanderbilt or Hearst compared to today's lot of tasteless robber barons.
posted by loquacious at 12:25 PM on October 18 [19 favorites]


Former director of the US Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub (Twitter): Trump is not be subject to the conflict of interest statute but, as the owner of the Trump Organization, he is subject to the Procurement Integrity Act. We need to know what information he obtained while he was participating in the selection of Doral for the G7.

And: There is no level of corruption greater than a President participating in the award of a contract to himself. We have reached the bottom. If the Senate will not act to stop this, there is no government ethics program. It's over.

Shaub also points out that any other officials who participated in this are also in violation of federal laws regarding procurement and and misuse of position.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:30 PM on October 18 [30 favorites]


...will take place at the failing Trump Doral Resort.
ftfy

Apparently, much like his golf club in Scotland, Doral has been bleeding red ink for years. Having the G7 there is partly a cash-grab to shore-up the financials. The other part, of course, is to line his own pockets.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:31 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


It's interesting and sobering to take a step back from this present moment and reflect on why we have an emoluments clause to begin with. Benjamin Franklin was given a diamond-encrusted snuff box by King Louis XVI, which sparked a terrific debate about accepting gifts from foreign leaders. The Articles of Confederation clearly disallowed it, but Franklin didn't want to piss off the French, so in the end Franklin was given permission by Congress and Thomas Jefferson to keep it.

Franklin did the right thing and gave it to his daughter. Eventually, not accepting foreign gifts, and by extension not profiting from political positions, up to and definitely including the presidency, was written into the Constitution.

How we got from a national kerfuffle about whether or not to keep a fancy French snuff box to the present moment in which the president is nakedly hawking rooms at his shitty hotels I leave as an exercise to the reader.
posted by vverse23 at 12:32 PM on October 18 [45 favorites]


Recall that during their now-infamous phone call (not actually a transcript), Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky, who is clearly desperate for US assistance, makes a point of noting that he's put money in Trump's pocket.
Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower.
That kind of favor-currying is exactly why the Founders included the Emoluments Clause, and it's remarkable (in that it shows Trump is confident Senate Republicans will let him get away with anything) that Trump would release such obvious evidence of an emoluments clause violation.
posted by Gelatin at 12:36 PM on October 18 [25 favorites]


Why is it being held at a hotel at all, and not at Camp David... Are the retinues too numerous?

I had assumed it was a numbers thing, but apparently Obama held a G8 at Camp David, so I doubt there's significantly more people attending now.
posted by tautological at 12:36 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Like what even is the point (for anyone) to amass that much wealth and be so impossibly boring, crass, cravenly stupid and wasteful?

Now, remember, there's never been any proof offered that he really is as wealthy as he claims. Honestly, he acts more like some bro-dude ladder-climbing middle-manager's idea of how a wealthy man acts.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:37 PM on October 18 [23 favorites]


Why is it being held at a hotel at all, and not at Camp David or on an air base or some other property that the U.S. government owns outright? Are the retinues too numerous, or are foreign heads of state worried about being spied upon (as if)?

The 38th summit was held in Camp David, apparently they have the capability.

That was a last-minute substitution because they'd planned to have it in Chicago, right after a NATO summit, but Putin suddenly said Russia wouldn't attend the G8 if the two things were tied so visibly together. They had to close off a larger-than-usual space around Camp David to secure it.

Typically, they don't have them in governmental facilities, for both internal and external security reasons. If you have it at a hotel, then you're not worried about a bunch of foreigners wandering around your military base; similarly, if you're a foreigner, you don't want to be in a place that's clearly "home base" for your host. Also, there's PR value to showing off your beautiful hotels and their sweeping vistas and suchlike.
posted by Etrigan at 12:39 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


He was raised with enormous wealth thanks to his father so I don't think we need to go down the rabbit hole of if he is rich or not. The $400 million dollar in tax fraud inheriting his fathers wealth.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:39 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


The G-7 used to be the G-8 until we kicked Russia out over shenanigans.

They could make it the G-6 just as easy. They probably should, given our failure to lead on any single issue.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:45 PM on October 18 [24 favorites]


jb: The G7 leaders could just refuse to attend. They are not powerless, particularly as a group.

People keep saying this, as if About 100 foreign diplomats, from Brazil to Turkey, hadn't gathered at the Trump International Hotel one week after the election (Jonathan O'Connell Mary Jordan for The Washington Post, November 18, 2016), and later, it was reported that U.S. State Department’s protocol emphasizes to world leaders that they should use Trump’s D.C. hotel for official visits (Ian Millhiser for Think Progress, Nov. 1, 2017)

Don't worry, Japanese prime minister’s stay at Mar-a-Lago was to be a gift from President Trump (McClatchy DC, Feb. 9, 2017), and Only Abe – no other member of the Japanese delegation – will be staying at Mar-a-Lago, Spicer said. “They will stay out in town with the rest of the staff,” he said. Totally not a problem that Trump give Abe such a gift in the first place.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:46 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


To be fair, the construction of Doral did involve draining a swamp.

Are the toilets backing up yet?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:49 PM on October 18


Only Abe – no other member of the Japanese delegation – will be staying at Mar-a-Lago, Spicer said. “They will stay out in town with the rest of the staff,” he said.

Yeah, that's totally how it works. The Prime Minister of the third largest economy of the world stays in hotels all by himself all the time. He basically just calls up whatever Motel 6 is on his route when he gets too tired to drive any farther.
posted by Etrigan at 1:04 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


Are the toilets backing up yet?
As in: swamping the drains?
posted by Namlit at 1:04 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


To quote one of his predecessors "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

¡Pobre México, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos! — Porfirio Díaz
posted by kirkaracha at 1:06 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


Isn’t Doral a cigarette company? What, was the Benson & Hedges Inn and Suites already booked?
posted by Slinga at 1:12 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


I mean as shitty as they were, and maybe this is rose-tinted hagiographic bullisht, but it at least seemed like the 19th century industrialists and kleptocrats had some modicum of taste and an appreciation for arts, culture, literature and more.
At least the robber barons were pretentious. They aspired to the taste, class and style that they could never have.

Trump likes gold toilets unironically.
posted by Horkus at 1:16 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


Trump says he’ll host G7 summit at cost at his resort — but provides few details (WaPo)
For Trump, the potential benefits of awarding himself the summit go beyond the actual payments made by U.S. and foreign governments. There is also international media exposure that comes with the summit — putting Trump Doral on televisions and websites around the world. [...]

Trump’s decision brought a flood of criticism Friday from Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), one of more than 200 Democrats who are suing Trump for past alleged violations of the foreign emoluments clause.

Blumenthal said they would add the Doral decision to their next legal filing, since it shows Trump is accelerating his efforts to gain foreign-government business. “Here he is, in plain sight, saying in effect, ‘I’m just going to make your case for you,’ ” Blumenthal said. [...]

The White House has not explained how Trump would estimate the cost of hosting visitors at a resort whose expenses include staff, administration, maintenance and debt payments. It also has not said if any outsider could challenge Trump’s estimate: In this unprecedented transaction, Trump is effectively negotiating with himself, as both buyer and seller, with taxpayers paying the bill.
WaPo: 2:30 p.m.: Bernie Sanders says G-7 in Doral ‘alone is worthy of impeachment’
“This is a president who is using the Oval Office to enrich himself. That alone is worthy of impeachment, never mind his other corrupt transgressions,” Sanders tweeted.
posted by katra at 1:16 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


At least the robber barons engaged in philanthropy, rather than philandering (or in addition to)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:31 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Imagine Trump funding a library or an opera hall.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:33 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]


That's kinda what I meant; robber barons were trying to buy respectability, Trump is trying to buy "a piece of ass".
posted by Horkus at 1:37 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


Relevant: ContraPoints on Opulence.
posted by klanawa at 1:40 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


Imagine Trump funding a library or an opera hall.

Yeah, but it would be a Klingon opera hall.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:04 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


I really hope congressional Democrats don't get snookered by this "at cost" ploy.

"At cost" is very different from "no cost", and I would bet my life's savings that "at cost" will not mean "at marginal cost". In other words, to the extent Doral is not normally fully booked during that time period (and its money-losing nature suggests it is far from fully booked), then even providing it "at (marginal + fixed) cost" will still be a substantial net gain for Trump. It's also an enormous amount of free publicity.
posted by jedicus at 2:04 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


And more and more people like Westinghouse seem like a goddamn saint compared to today's kleptocrats. Sure, Westinghouse stood out even back then, but I might even accept a Vanderbilt or Hearst compared to today's lot of tasteless robber barons. Remember the WASPs?

posted by The Whelk at 3:23 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Trump should be sued for the market value of the publicity already generated. He could back down right now, and will have had a million dollars in free world-wide advertising.

Which may have been his plan all along. He can't figure out how to play one-dimensional chess, but he does know how to promote himself by saying and doing outrageous things.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:26 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Westinghouse was one of the better moguls. He made his money off a safety device and recognized Tesla's genius and have him a square deal. (Among other things)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:29 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Trump likes gold toilets unironically.

Oh Trump, last of the Targaryens and rightful King, beware: someone could melt it onto your butt.
posted by Namlit at 3:31 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Does someone know how to look up archived room prices at the Doral, for say 2015 up to today to determine whether the price has been changing? (Does such data exist on the internet?)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:14 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


If I was prez I’d hold the g8 at these WPA cabins in the redwoods and have communal meals with everyone taking turns working the kitchen and ladling out the stew. I’m only partly kidding - environment is everything and the message should be “we are here to try to bond and make decisions that will improve the world for all our citizens, not dick around with mixed drinks and appetizer platters and shit.”
posted by freecellwizard at 4:16 PM on October 18 [22 favorites]


We've had the revolving door from politics to corporate windfall for a while, which in most cases is just corruption that is legal. We'll now need to come up with a new term for this kind of corruption, which has likely been happening all along, just never as brazenly as it is currently. How about: international room service?
posted by nikoniko at 4:58 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said “It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency.”

There in a nutshell is the Trump strategy of being so blatant and "transparent" in his corruption that Republicans are convinced he must be honest. It's a cult.
posted by JackFlash at 5:41 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Trump's Miami Golf Resort Revenues Have Plummeted Since He Became President (Miami New Times, Oct. 02, 2018)
According to a major report today from Forbes, hotel revenues at the Trump National Doral, arguably the Donald's golf flagship, have dropped like a stone since Trump became president. Per Forbes, revenues at the Trump Doral in 2017 fell an astounding 16 percent. According to inside sources who spoke to Forbes, the resort lost 100,000 booked-room nights. The resort has only 643 rooms.

That bit of information was tucked into Forbes' astounding long-form look at the Trump Organization's flagging fortunes since its owner's election. Apparently, nobody except a small group of government contractors and Rudy Giuliani wants to hang out at Trump properties anymore. [...]

In the meantime, there are signs that the clientele at the Trump Doral has shifted since 2015. Numerous local and national reports have noted that the club has been flooded with parties and conventions for government contractors and other companies that hope to do business with the U.S. government.

The Boca Raton private-prison contractor GEO Group, for example, shifted its 2017 corporate party to the Trump Doral after Trump won the presidency. (Incidentally, GEO now makes more money from Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts than any other private company.) [...] Earlier this year, New Times chronicled the six shadiest events held at the Trump Doral since Trump won the presidency.
[Six Trump Doral Conflicts of Interest in Miami - links to Miami New Times, owned by Village Voice Media - posted by Iris Gambol at 4:15 PM on April 9, 2018 -- ok, I knew this sounded familiar]
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:06 PM on October 18 [23 favorites]


"At cost" is very different from "no cost", and I would bet my life's savings that "at cost" will not mean "at marginal cost". In other words, to the extent Doral is not normally fully booked during that time period (and its money-losing nature suggests it is far from fully booked), then even providing it "at (marginal + fixed) cost" will still be a substantial net gain for Trump. It's also an enormous amount of free publicity.

Charging anything for a room that is otherwise not sold is a gain. The Cheeto could be paying cash bonuses to all attending personnel and not charging them anything and it would still be a gain because of the advertising.

Now what would be brilliant is if the press started just describing it like "Trump owned property" instead of naming it in every article. Or even "Trump's failing/declining/underperforming/ property" considering the Miami New Times story linked above. Or "Trump's property, which recently settled a lawsuit over a severe bedbug infestation, ...". You know, full on "the police shooting victim was a black man with a criminal record (for driving without a licence 20 years ago)".
posted by Mitheral at 7:22 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Also if I owned any property capable of hosting this event I'd be pissed that the President's "at cost" hosting of the event was severely undercutting my business.
posted by Mitheral at 7:27 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


“There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades - William D. Cohan for Vanity Fair
The president’s talk can move markets—and it’s made some futures traders billions. Did they know what he was going to say before he said it?
posted by MrVisible at 7:44 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


The cost alone of securing BedBug Summit, is going to be insane. It's not a remote location, it's right there by the airport, like literally...in the path of either takeoff or landing (maybe both). It doesn't have beach access, and yet, it surrounded by public waters.

It's fucking tiny, given the size of a G7 conference. There's not room there for the cars, much less the people. It's in a residential area. Many of which have clear roof line of sight. And you can't park Secret Service in every house. Nor is the SS responsible for leaders of other countries, but having one assassinated would not go well for anyone. I mean, look it up on a map, it's going to be a nightmare to secure.

I mean, for real, Mar a Lago was a beautiful old mansion 100 years ago, that was never designed to be a hotel, much less a resort. I, personally, know people that have bigger properties than this which would be more suited for a g7 (not at all suited for the g7, unless they wanted to go old school camping), and easier to defend than this BedBug a GoGo.

This is absurd, and cannot be allowed. But I don't know what mechanism exist to stop it, short of impeaching and removing the dotard in residence.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:49 PM on October 18 [12 favorites]


Guys, this is the G8. Putin is coming. Toilets need gilding, Kobe beef needs burning, Trump portraits need painting, the most beautiful chocolate cakes need baking, the Trump sign needs enlarging, everything needs upgrading. Heck, Trump may have to demolish the existing hotel and build a new one. In all seriousness, when Trump travels he spends over a hundred grand on a hotel room for himself and his entourage for a single night. When Trump golfs, it costs taxpayers millions. This is not going to be a small affair.
posted by xammerboy at 8:03 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Also if I owned any property capable of hosting this event I'd be pissed that the President's "at cost" hosting of the event was severely undercutting my business.

There are several emoluments cases against Trump pending, but the one in New York is based exactly on your premise. There is a group of 200 restaurants and hotels that is suing Trump based on injury to their businesses by illegal emoluments. They say they are losing money because of Trump's violations of the emoluments clause.

From the court decision:
The complaint cites statements by the President implicitly soliciting the patronage of government officials and apparently acknowledging that, in making governmental decisions, he favors governments that patronize his businesses.

For example “Trump said [of the Saudis, in the context of discussing trade negotiations],‘...They spend $40million, $50million [at his Trump Tower]. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.’

And “I do deals with [China] all the time. [China’s largest bank] is a tenant of mine...”

Plaintiffs allege that foreign governments have taken note of, and been influenced by, the message that enriching the President by giving patronage to his establishments earns his favor.

For example, one “Middle Eastern diplomat” who said, “Believe me, all the delegations will go [to Trump establishments].”

Another diplomat reportedly stated, “Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House[?]...Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’”


And more recently, you all read the phone call with Zelensky desperately sucking up to Trump telling him that he stayed at the Trump Hotel.

The case had been tossed by a lower court but in September the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case.
posted by JackFlash at 8:34 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


dances_with_sneetches, according to the Washington Post, Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting (May 15, 2019); "Room rates, banquets, golf and overall revenue at the resort have declined since 2015." Contrast with Trump International in DC:

Trump's DC hotel raised room rates after inauguration: report (The Hill, summarizing the WSJ report, August 11, 2017)
"Ivanka Suite" at Trump International Hotel Cost Per Night $2,134, More Than Doubling in Price in a Year (Newsweek, Jan. 14, 2018)
Trump’s D.C. Hotel Had Fewer Guests, Higher Prices Than Peers Last Year (NY Mag, Jan. 27, 2018)
Trump Hotel Prices Skyrocket around Fourth of July (CitizensforEthics.org, June 19, 2019)

Appeals court dismisses emoluments lawsuit involving Trump’s D.C. hotel (Washington Post, July 10, 2019) "The unanimous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is a victory for the president in a novel case brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia involving anti-corruption provisions in the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

"In its ruling, the three-judge panel said the attorneys general lacked legal grounds to bring the lawsuit alleging the president is violating the Constitution when his business accepts payments from state and foreign governments. The decision — from Judges Paul V. Niemeyer, Dennis W. Shedd and A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. — also stops dozens of subpoenas to federal government agencies and Trump’s private business entities demanding financial records related to the D.C. hotel."

Trump emoluments case over his D.C. hotel gets second chance in legal challenge (Washington Post, October 15, 2019) "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit agreed to rehear the lawsuit, brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District, which was dismissed over the summer by a three-judge panel of the court. The brief order set oral arguments before a full panel of judges for Dec. 12 and essentially gives the novel lawsuit, which tests the anti-corruption emoluments provisions of the Constitution, a second chance."
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:27 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


“There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades

CME Group Statement on Vanity Fair Article
CHICAGO, Oct. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CME Group regularly monitors its markets for suspicious activity. As it relates to the Vanity Fair article published on October 17, 2019, regarding activities in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract, the allegations about the trading activity are patently false.

These transactions were entered into by a significant number of diverse market participants.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:57 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


So I’ve stayed at Doral for a week for work. Just after Trump’s presidential run was announced. Our company had prepaid for the event the year beforehand, and literally our CEO had to apologize to everyone there for not being able to change venues last minute (was very shortly after Trump’s “Mexico is sending rapists” speech).

It was a “it’s ok to bring your spouse” type deal. Which of course meant I also brought my not yet 2 year old and my just turned 4 year old.

I tell you this to fess up that both kids went for a pee in the Trump pool (we were the only ones using it all week - no other families came). Shame about the shitty Trump branding and photos *everywhere*. Nice pool though. Very nice pool. Just stay away from the kiddie end.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:13 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


Trump awarded the G7 to his resort in Doral – without telling anyone in Doral (Guardian)
“I did not know it was going to be announced,” said Juan Carlos Bermudez, the mayor of the city of Doral.

“We had a conversation with the White House in late June, a very brief one, on the possibility of this coming to Doral but I did not receive a phone call before the announcement. I found out just like you found out.” That is, via the live televised briefing.

Similarly, the Miami-Dade police department, the largest law enforcement agency in the south-eastern US, had also been out of the loop.

“Nada. Zilch,” the spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta told the Miami Herald when the newspaper asked what advance notice had been received.
posted by box at 6:30 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


This is fine. Really. It’s totally fine that as an executive branch federal employee I can’t even order the brand of ballpoint pen I want, because we are mandated to get whatever the facility already has in stock from Skillcraft (doubt you have heard of it if you don’t work for The Man, but they are products made with pride by people who are blind, per the slogan on the package) so if I want a Bic too bad, it costs 3¢ more than the other one, so I get the other one. It’s totally fine that I can’t attend any conferences as part of my job because of the fear of wasteful spending, and the very few that do happen are completely barred from so much as providing a coffee dispenser because that falls under the “food and drink” restrictions imposed by the government so if I want a coffee I have to buy it my own damn self. And at the same time the asshole in chief can straight up require the government to book rooms at his own shitty overpriced tasteless hotel, where the steaks are served burnt with ketchup because that’s how grownups eat. This is, as I said above, just fucking fine.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:35 AM on October 19 [64 favorites]


That Vanity Fair story wasn't very convincing. They didn't consider alternative theories such as high rollers banking on either side ahead of an announcement, or provide context for how often such buys of a similar size were made.
The buy low sell high profits put forward are correct only if the buyers also sold high.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:24 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]




This is where the 2016 G7 was held. This was in 2015. This is the G8 before it,
I could go on...
This is the entrance to trump’s place.
posted by growabrain at 1:12 PM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Wow, those other hotels look like fairy tale castles. Trump Doral looks like any hotel you've randomly pulled off the highway to stay in.

I was surprised to read that thousands of people come in for this meeting, making it a much bigger event than I thought. Isn't this the kind of event many hotels or towns would bid money to host?
posted by xammerboy at 4:11 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Democrats introduce a bill to block funding for this, and call it THUG act

That's great, but why do they need a bill to block this or investigate it?
posted by xammerboy at 4:15 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


After the other G7 leaders decline to attend, the Doral will be the perfect size for hosting.

CNN (June 8, 2018) (video link) Trump: Having Russia in G7 would be an asset

President Donald Trump, while making remarks at the G7 summit, says he has not spoken to Vladimir Putin in "quite a while," but argues bringing Russia back into the G7 "would be an asset."

The Guardian (August 25, 2019) G7: Trump's demands for Russia's readmission cause row in Biarritz / US president argues Putin should be included in discussions on Iran, Syria and North Korea

Trump has been arguing for Russian readmission since the G7 summit in Quebec last year and appeared determined to revive the demand, bringing it up in a discussion about Iran policy and taking his counterparts by surprise with the vehemence of his views on the subject.

CNN (August 28, 2019) Trump's invitation to Putin would abandon one of America's greatest achievements

President Donald Trump is setting up another obliteration of American norms by pushing his Miami golf resort as the venue for the next G7 and proposing an invitation to Russia.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:24 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


US negotiators dangled a Trumpian carrot before North Korean diplomats during nuclear talks two weeks ago: a promise to complete and expand a tourist resort that has been a favorite project of Kim Jong-un.

It's the ultimate Trump project, a fancy hotel that no foreigner in their right mind would visit, and no one in the country can afford to stay in.
posted by xammerboy at 4:35 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

....Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!

Womp Womp.
posted by xammerboy at 7:15 PM on October 19 [31 favorites]


I am a bit upset the most powerful people on Earth won’t have to live through a real 2 and a half star resort experience
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 PM on October 19 [31 favorites]


I really really wish I could have been a fly on the wall, listening to whoever talked him out of this. Because you know he's SEETHING. I bet he starts attacking this 'voice of reason' in tweets before the next sundown.
posted by biddeford at 10:14 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


It's such a toss up, though. On balance, I think I'd still rather deprive Trump of the income.
posted by bardophile at 10:14 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


I'm mad at the universe. I want it to make sense. Instead this dude who is about to get impeached but probably not convicted but who really needs to win in 2020 to stay out jail decides to send his subordinate out to tell people to get over his high crime of trading military aid for dirty political tricks and oh by the way he'll be blatantly grifting in the midst of primary season. There would have been pictures of his tacky hotel and off the record interviews with pissed off G7 members' staff all over TV. Is Trump's method that he throws shit up against the wall to see what will finally piss off people not in his base? Is he really that confident that the senate won't convict. Are there not another five or so Ukraine like scandals that some bureaucrat can point congress towards a paper trail of between now and impeachment day? What is Trump doing?
posted by rdr at 10:39 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


...based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility...

Finally — a working strategy that successfully defeats a Trump decision in record time.

TO THE BARRICADES, YOU CRAZY DEMOCRATIC BASTERDS!!!
posted by cenoxo at 10:41 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Isn't this the kind of event many hotels or towns would bid money to host?

It's the kind of event most towns would pay to avoid. The costs related to basic security and infrastructure interruptions alone are horrifying. Also your normally quiet town is now a prime target for terrorism.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:54 AM on October 20 [4 favorites]


The costs related to basic security and infrastructure interruptions alone are horrifying.

Trump reverses plans to host G-7 summit at his Doral resort in Florida, Miami Herald, October 19, 2019
...
The nations rotate hosting duties, and Trump said he was interested in the United States inviting the nations to his golf resort, but Miami Herald records requests to the City of Doral, the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and local police found no evidence of communication from Washington about potentially hosting the summit.

Gimenez told the Herald that he spoke to Trump during by phone when Hurricane Dorian threatened Miami in August, in which the president told him that he was thinking about hosting the summit in Miami-Dade.

After two calls to the Secret Service’s Miami office and strong hints from Trump, the City of Doral had assigned an extra $270,000 to the city’s police budget to cover security costs tied to the summit, Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez said.
posted by cenoxo at 1:20 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


I am not sure which is worse here: Trump deciding to host the G-7 at Doral in the first place, or him so cravenly and easily caving into the pressure not to do so. I mean, if he had at least a skerrick of fortitude he would have persisted with this in the face of opposition. But he is so utterly cowardly that he caves in at the first signs of opposition. Somehow, he manages to perfectly encapsulate the venal stupidity of the idea in the first place with the complete lack of will to persist and follow through with his folly.
posted by vac2003 at 1:28 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


There's a study in Ontario where the G7 was held in, I think 2000 that says it brought 300 million to the town it was hosted in. That's a lot of money.
posted by xammerboy at 1:32 AM on October 20


There's a 34 minute gap between Trump's first two tweets talking about how great Doral is and his last tweet saying he won't be hosting. It must have killed him to cave.

I think this is pretty significant. I don't remember Trump caving on anything previously. I'd like to think this is the end of the beginning of his Republican support.

It's all still a crime. It still needs to be investigated. We still need to see these RFIs that show the Trump team did their due diligence before picking his resort.
posted by xammerboy at 1:39 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


xammerboy: I don't remember Trump caving on anything previously.

Then you're misremembering. Try putting 'trump caves' into your search enginhe of choice and see what you get. The government shutdown, the citizenship census question, background checks for gun purchases, you name it... Trump caves on all the things all the time.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:00 AM on October 20 [17 favorites]


'Trump folds' works nicely, too. Trump almost always folds.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:04 AM on October 20 [7 favorites]


He caves all the time and presents it on twitter as the greatest win in the history of the known (and unknown) universe.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:05 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


True. I guess I just really want this moment to be a turning point. The more likely reality is that his Doral decision was always unworkable. No Republican could support it. The G7 attendees would have likely backed out. It's obviously a crime. Trump throws stuff at the wall and sees what sticks and this didn't.
posted by xammerboy at 6:43 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


There's a study in Ontario where the G7 was held in, I think 2000 that says it brought 300 million to the town it was hosted in. That's a lot of money.

How much of its actually stayed in the local economy and how much of it was spent on imported sex workers and cocaine?
posted by loquacious at 7:18 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


Has he caved on anything he would make money off though? That seems to be his real committment so I am going to take this as pleasingly hard for him to have to take backing down on at least. And there might go one more bankruptcy staving off payment for Trump Enterprises.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:43 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Something’s up with Mulvaney. This is the complete opposite of what he should say regarding the appearance of impropriety regarding an issue that the White House wants to consider resolved. Maybe he wants to be fired?
posted by Selena777 at 10:04 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Trump can't stop bragging to foreign leaders about his resorts (Politico)
“He talks up his properties every chance he gets with anyone — with staff, with members of Congress, with the press, with the public, with foreign leaders, with anyone,” said a former White House official. “That’s what he has done. He’s been a salesman. He’s been a PR person for his properties for the last 50 years, so almost out of force of habit, that’s what he does.”

....

An official who worked for Trump after he was elected during the transition acknowledged that Trump mentioned his properties regularly in conversations with leaders but not to get them to stay there. “He’s just trying to relate,” the person said. “He’s looking for issues of commonality, just trying to personally connect with someone.”

....

A former senior administration official said Trump likes talking about his properties with foreign leaders — “not necessarily” to boost his businesses but to display dominance. “It’s literally to show how big and powerful I am,” the person said. “It’s bragging rights.”
posted by box at 1:54 PM on October 20 [2 favorites]


Options 1 and 3 track, but option 2 is nonsense. Trump doesn't give a crap about personally connecting with anyone.
posted by rifflesby at 2:07 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


Sure, sure, but with a narcissist you simply substitute "levers to manipulate" in place of "issues of commonality" and there you have what it means to for Trump to "personally connect" with someone.
posted by Horkus at 2:53 PM on October 20 [5 favorites]


Based upon the Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev have a “kitchen debate” precedent (and another half-hearted attempt), let's start a rotating annual summit among all G6, G7, G8, G9, et cetera nations. Before each country's summit, an internationally televised, random drawing is held to pick one residential address in that country. The lucky winner — however they see fit, and with financial assistance from their government — gets to host and feed the Gn heads of state for just one day.
posted by cenoxo at 4:17 PM on October 20 [6 favorites]


The lucky winner — however they see fit, and with financial assistance from their government — gets to host and feed the Gn heads of state for just one day.

Cholla cactus and Mike's Insanity Sauce it is, and Capt Crunch for dessert! Sorry we can't afford milk.

What? We eat this for dinner almost every night. Dig in!

We have a special treat for desert - toasted bark scorpions!
posted by loquacious at 4:48 PM on October 20 [6 favorites]


“Connect” in the pugilistic sense, meaning to land a blow.
posted by acb at 4:58 PM on October 20 [1 favorite]


As was alluded to above - despite the cancellation he already got a bunch of free advertising. I've never heard of Doral or any Trump dumps therein. Now I've seen all 2 nice pictures they have of the place shown in rotation on the news. And I don't even watch the news - it was on and I occasionally glanced at it (couldn't hear anything) during happy hour at a bar!
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:06 PM on October 20


Yeah, but the publicity was #bedbugsummit, stories about lawsuits due to bedbugs, and everyone realizing it’s at best a three star rating, while a dozen better resorts are nearby. So...
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:50 PM on October 20 [3 favorites]


Also, cenexo, I would absolutely volunteer for that. Can you imagine the opportunity to talk to all of those people, oh man...I would so sign up for that.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:52 PM on October 20 [1 favorite]


If it's a $300 million dollar bump to the local economy host it in Flint Michigan. Make an ice sculpture of the world out of undrinkable water, sit it in the dining room, and let it melt as they pick at their foie gras.

In all seriousness, if this event is that big a deal why does Trump's imagination stop where his personal gain ends? If it were me I would be hosting this in a swing state.
posted by xammerboy at 7:20 PM on October 20 [10 favorites]


Trump reversed course on hosting G-7 at his club after learning that impeachment-weary Republicans were tired of defending him (WaPo)
President Trump was forced to abandon his decision to host next year’s Group of Seven summit at his private golf club after it became clear the move had alienated Republicans and swiftly become part of the impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.

In a round of phone calls with conservative allies this weekend, Trump was told Republicans are struggling to defend him on so many fronts, according to an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. [...]

Trump’s decision to host next year’s G-7 meeting at his private golf club only increased the anxiety among GOP lawmakers, some of whom have grown weary of having to develop new talking points almost daily.

Privately, and occasionally in public, several Republicans said they were not prepared to defend the president from charges that he was engaged in self-dealing on the G-7 site selection. [...] Trump has been closely watching Republicans and their comments about impeachment, according to one administration official. The president was told repeatedly his G-7 decision made it more difficult to keep Senate Republicans in a unified front against impeachment proceedings, the official said.
posted by katra at 8:43 PM on October 20 [6 favorites]


and let it melt as they pick at their foie gras.

That's a funny way to spell "hot coke furnace clinkers"!
posted by loquacious at 8:45 PM on October 20 [2 favorites]


but the publicity was #bedbugsummit, stories about lawsuits due to bedbugs, and everyone realizing it’s at best a three star rating, while a dozen better resorts are nearby. So...

Yeah, I bet it wasn't just us rabble commenting, "isn't that the shitty one?" I got many likes on a tweet suggesting everybody contract a different hotel and just show up at Doral for (or after) breakfast to do some work. Someone else noticed that due to the flight restrictions over Doral, a Residence Inn just up the road would also enjoy that security feature and be a simpler alternative than a Hyatt or whatever the next city over.
posted by rhizome at 8:57 PM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Trump caves on all the things all the time.

He didn't cave on Kavanaugh, which may end abortion rights, nor on tax cuts for the wealthy, which may either bankrupt the country or end Medicare and Social Security (or both). Those two wins will rot this country away for decades to come, short of a miracle.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:55 PM on October 20 [11 favorites]


I hope Dems add the G7 Doral crime to the impeachment list - it's an easily understandable crime and can be used to remind everyone of all the other emoluments violations the Republicans ignored when Trump got into office.
posted by benzenedream at 3:52 AM on October 21


I agree it’s a straightforward violation of the Constitution and unquestionably impeachable... but sadly I don’t think it will play that way, because (in many folks’ perception) he didn’t go through with it. I’m acquainted with a few who are Trump supporters (an admittedly small sample), and I can say with certainty that every one of them frequently contemplates committing a crime for their own personal benefit (ranging from violence against another person to financial fraud to outright theft), but they believe they’re a good person because they didn’t actually do it .

Getting them to understand that impeachment isn’t a criminal trial a la “Law & Order”, and for a person in elected office, talking about it and planning for it is just as bad as doing it... yeah, that’s a lost cause. I suspect that for many of the politicians involved, as well as many of the reporters/talking heads I’ve heard lately, that level of nuance is beyond them as well.
posted by Kelrichen at 5:46 AM on October 21 [3 favorites]


I should add: in a better timeline, Trump would have been impeached on every emoluments violation he’s perpetrated since the inauguration, not to mention the concentration camps, the Russia dealings, etc etc... but in this timeline, public perception rules all, and if the public at large isn’t presented with a single obvious ‘crime’, with a couple of twists and perhaps a betrayal along the way, that gets wrapped up in an hour of their attention, they’ll get bored and annoyed and mentally change the channel.
posted by Kelrichen at 5:53 AM on October 21 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

Doral in Miami would have been the best place to hold the G-7, and free, but too much heat from the Do Nothing Radical Left Democrats & their Partner, the Fake News Media! I’m surprised that they allow me to give up my $400,000 Plus Presidential Salary! We’ll find someplace else!

He'll never let it go. Every time he mentions Doral, not to mention giving up his salary, the media should note he's spent a third of his time as president at his private resorts costing taxpayers hundreds of millions. Much of that money goes right into his pocket.
posted by xammerboy at 8:00 AM on October 21 [11 favorites]


I hope Dems add the G7 Doral crime to the impeachment list...

Except, it's not happening. So, no crime, really.
Now, the diverting of military aircraft to prop-up his golf course in Scotland? Yeah, that should go on the list.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:22 AM on October 21 [6 favorites]


"You people with this phony Emoluments Clause," Trump tells assembled media questioning him about attempt to put G-7 at his own resort. (From Washington Post White House Reporter Josh Dawsey's Twitter feed.)
posted by rednikki at 11:45 AM on October 21 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I was hoping he would stick it out to the bitter end because if this is not easily an impeachable offense nothing is. This will be forgotten in a week now....
posted by Justin Case at 12:12 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I totally broke in to your house and stole all your stuff, but I gave it all back, so no crime, right?
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:20 PM on October 21 [6 favorites]


There's a study in Ontario where the G7 was held in, I think 2000 that says it brought 300 million to the town it was hosted in

I'm not familiar with that.
But I assume you're referring to the combined G8 and G20 summits held in Hunstville Ontario (small town) and Toronto Ontario.
Hunstville was part of a Tory cabinet minister's riding Tony Clement)_ and the pork did flow to villages many miles away. Bandshells, sidewalks, runways you name it they got it.

Toronto, not in a cabinet ministers riding , got zilch. Well except for the riots.

Security costs alone for the combined summits was over a billion dollars.

Some of the RCMP's costs:

$65 million for accommodations
$44 million for meals and travel
$39 million for command centres
$33 million for private security
$18 million for "specialized equipment"

Holding these summits is a huge undertaking and disruptions are massive.

45.000 students had classes suspended in Toronto
Airports, highways, buildings closed
Removed municipal properties include 745 newspaper boxes, 200 public trash cans, 70 mailboxes, 29 bus shelters, and 5 public information board
Police brought in from all over the province. They have to be housed fed etc

Basically it's a money loser
posted by yyz at 1:29 PM on October 21 [10 favorites]


The Doral was a ridiculous suggestion for many non-graft related reasons (ex.: a man opened fire in the Doral's lobby just last year; way to highlight this country's ongoing gun-massacre tragedy). There were grounds to bring articles of impeachment, for emoluments clause violations, over the handling of Trump International in DC (in the Old Post Office Pavilion, a property leased from the federal gov't), from the jump:

For foreign diplomats, Trump hotel is place to be (Washington Post, November 18, 2016)
Back when many expected Trump to lose the election, speculation was rife that business would suffer at the hotels, condos and golf courses that bear his name. Now, those venues offer the prospect of something else: a chance to curry favor or access with the next president. Perhaps nowhere is that possibility more obvious than Trump’s newly renovated hotel a few blocks from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Rooms sold out quickly for the inauguration, many for five-night minimums priced at five times the normal rate, according to the hotel’s manager. [...] several expressed concern that spending thousands of dollars on a Trump property could look like an attempt to buy access or favors.

“The temptation and the inclination will certainly be there,” said Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States. “Some might think it’s the right way to engage, to be able to tell the next president, ‘Oh, I stayed at your hotel.’ If I were still in government, I would discourage it, among other reasons because it can be questioned and looked at in a very poor light, as though you are trying to buy influence via a hotel bill.”
Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office, George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says (ThinkProgress, Nov. 19, 2016)
Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign diplomats gathered at President-elect Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, DC to “to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.” The tour included a look at the hotel’s $20,000 a night “town house” suite. The Post also quoted some of the diplomats saying they intended to stay at the hotel in order to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president. [...]

The incoming president, in other words, is actively soliciting business from agents of foreign governments. Many of these agents, in turn, said that they will accept the president-elect’s offer to do business because they want to win favor with the new leader of the United States.
Trump must sell his D.C. hotel, federal officials tell Congressional Democrats Giving it to his children isn’t good enough. (ThinkProgress, Dec. 14, 2016)
Now that he’s the head of that government, though, the validity of that [Old Post Office Pavilion] lease is in question. When Trump takes office he will effectively be both tenant and landlord of the multi-million dollar property. According to a briefing given to lawmakers by the General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees the lease, Trump must therefore give up all ownership of the hotel or be in clear violation of his government contract.
Emphasis mine. Apologies for the long reminder excerpts. This administration has engaged in so much criiminal activity, I think the earliest offenses (and many of the later ones) get lost in the sheer deluge. He's an illegitimate president, and has been from the first day in office.

Did Trump keep his 19 promises to insulate himself from his business? Only he knows. (USA Today, March 18, 2019) Donald Trump promised to keep his business and his presidency separate. Two years and many entanglements later, they face expanding investigations.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:24 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Except, it's not happening. So, no crime, really.
Bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit.

He decided it, he announced it, he was doing it, and then he was stopped. The crime was committed. Getting stopped in the act and prevented doesn't make you innocent of the crime... WTF are people talking about?
posted by Horkus at 3:50 PM on October 21 [13 favorites]


giving up his salary, the media should note he's spent a third of his time as president at his private resorts costing taxpayers hundreds of millions

Giving up the salary not only provides a cover argument for his resort grifting, but I'm guessing he also passed on it because a government salary is harder to cheat taxes with than his usual opaque corporate laundered forms of income.
posted by p3t3 at 3:52 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


Trump gives his salary to various government agencies as a donation, so it becomes a $400,000 tax deduction for him on his tax return.
posted by JackFlash at 4:14 PM on October 21 [13 favorites]


Washington, Hoover, & JFK donated their presidential salaries. (The largest charitable recipients of Kennedy's presidential-salary donations: the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of America, the United Negro College Fund, and the Cuban Families Committee. Prior to the Presidency, Kennedy donated his Congressional pay.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:57 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


Trump did use his charity to give $7 to the Boy Scouts in 1989.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:22 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ...I’m surprised that they allow me to give up my $400,000 Plus Presidential Salary!

Business 101, Rule 1: You get what you pay for, aka Quid pro quo.
posted by cenoxo at 5:52 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


Every time Trump tweets or talks to a diplomat about how great his businesses are, that's a crime. It's business. Trump can literally write off the time he spent writing those tweets or talking to those diplomats as personal business deductions.
posted by xammerboy at 8:00 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


...& JFK donated their presidential salaries.

And perhaps for similar tax deduction reasons (and good PR)? Camelot daddy and diversified business entrepreneur JPK Sr. was more than comfortably well-off:
Kennedy Family Net Worth: How Wealthy Are Ted Kennedy’s Living Relatives Today, Newsweek 4/16/2018

...Fortune magazine first published its richest people in the United States list in 1957. The inaugural list placed Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. in the $200 to $400 million range, about $1.74 billion to $3.48 billion today.
More than enough to help fund an election campaign. Estimates of JFK’s personal wealth at the time of his death range up to $100 million. At least he donated to worthy causes, unlike The Donald whose charity apparently extends only to himself and family.
posted by cenoxo at 8:05 PM on October 21


The emoluments clause, explained for Donald Trump (Ian Millhiser, Vox)
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:40 AM on October 22


ActingTheGoat: Trump did use his charity to give $7 to the Boy Scouts in 1989.

I'm not sure if you're joking, but back when this came up, it seemed more likely that he used his foundation to pay his son's registration (Bustle, July 25, 2017). $7 is an odd number, and a pretty small sum, and that's the cost of scout registration in 1989.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump's big short: Is the president profiting off the market chaos he creates? (Bob Cesca, Salon)
There's a pattern of strange "chaos trades" tied to Trump's "trade war" blurts. It could be epic corruption
Expanding upon a Vanity Fair article looking into the market chaos. One interesting bit:
Is the president even capable of knowingly manipulating the stock market? You’re damn right he is. You might recall a massive investigation by the New York Times indicating that Trump engaged in a scheme with his dad, Fred Trump, known as “greenmailing”:
During the 1980s, Donald Trump became notorious for leaking word that he was taking positions in stocks, hinting of a possible takeover, and then either selling on the run-up or trying to extract lucrative concessions from the target company to make him go away. It was a form of stock manipulation with an unsavory label: “greenmailing.” The Times unearthed evidence that Mr. Trump enlisted his father as his greenmailing wingman.
So there’s no denying that he’s wired for this awfulness. Additionally, knowing his history with Wall Street combined with the obvious impact of his yawps, he’d have to be in a coma not to notice the power he possesses over the markets. It also goes without saying he’s not personally making these trades. He could merely be tipping off a trusted ally who, him- or herself, might be several hops removed from the actual broker of the trades.Remember: Trump moves like a gangster, and, as we learned in "The Godfather: Part II," the boss has “a lotta buffas."
Typical Trump.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:43 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


One Day After Trump Called Emoluments Clause ‘Phony,’ Court Sets Hearing in Emoluments Case Against Him (Colin Kalmbacher, Law & Crime blog)
Time is a flat circle left on your desk by a hot cup of covfefe.

One day after President Donald Trump called the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution “phony” during a media assemblage, a federal court scheduled a proceeding to address an ongoing Emoluments Clause lawsuit aimed at Trump, meaning that two Emoluments-related proceedings will occur in the same week this December.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:57 AM on October 22 [12 favorites]


House Democrats Make an About-Face on Challenging Trump’s Emoluments Violations (Frank Bowman, Slate)
This week, the House Rules Committee was reportedly scheduled to consider a resolution disapproving Donald Trump’s receipt of “emoluments” in the form of payments by foreign governments to his resorts, hotels, and other businesses. Consideration of the bill was cancelled when Trump, on Saturday, rescinded last week’s announcement that next year’s G-7 meeting would be held at his Doral resort in Miami.

The cancellation of the hearing is a great pity. Most “resolutions” by Congress are empty gestures, mere posturing, or venting of legislative frustration. But a resolution by either chamber disapproving Trump’s receipt of foreign emoluments would have genuine constitutional significance and could play an important role in shaping articles of impeachment.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:02 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


No resolution of disapproval can be used in the future to show that congress tacitly approved.
posted by xammerboy at 8:35 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to think the GOP is ignoring the Constitution because they are planning to throw it away. Trump sprinkles words like "coup" around like a challenge, at the same time stealing the language that would be used to indict him, his actions, and his circle of people. Trump loves getting away with stuff, and this would be the ultimate, with Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow assiduously cataloging each stairstep down on the way to hell.

It certainly helps to explain the "I'm not going to tell you anything, certainly nothing true, and beyond that: make me." If everything they do is to throw away norms and in the case of the Senate, voting on anything significant at all, where does it stop? Who says it has to stop? He probably has enough support to turn the country into a racist kakisto-theocracy on the Russian model. Well, probably more religion than in Putin's playground.

Sarah Kendzior said a while back that it would not surprise her if Trump cancels the 2020 election. Trump has already joked multiple times about a third term (not to mention a lifetime term IIRC), and nothing else makes sense in a way that ties Trump's plans to the Constitution, nor the American way of life in general as we have grown to know it. Shit may be weirder than we know right now.
posted by rhizome at 9:53 PM on October 23 [6 favorites]


rhizome: I'm starting to think the GOP is ignoring the Constitution because they are planning to throw it away.

But how can the conservative SCOTUS trumpet about "original intent" if there is no Constitution?

The Constitution won't be discarded, just ignored until it's a useful tool, then it'll become a hammer.

Trump’s emoluments transgressions don’t stop with the Doral fiasco (Op-Ed by Norman J. Ornstein for the Los Angeles times, Oct. 24, 2019)
When the White House announced that Donald Trump would host the 2020 Group of Seven meeting at his Doral golf resort in Florida — an in-your-face bit of self-dealing and a blatant violation of the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause — Republicans and Democrats howled. Reporters had only just begun to tally the ways awarding himself a government contract could enrich Trump and the Trump Organization when the president backed down, but not before he publicly decried the “phony” emoluments clause.

The Doral reversal dimmed the spotlight on emoluments, but that should not lead us to drop the focus on the rest of Trump’s self-dealing and conflicts of interest. For strategic reasons, the House of Representatives may not include emoluments transgressions among potential impeachment charges. Nonetheless, the number of Trump’s violations are staggering, and growing by the day.
...
The president himself had made 387 trips to his properties, 240 of them to play golf. He regularly does semi-official infomercials for his properties, and he’s told couples considering staging a wedding reception at Mar-a-Lago in Florida or the Trump country club in Bedminster, N.H., that, if they do, he might be available for a photo op. He famously doubled the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago, to $200,000, when he became president, enabling foreign figures (and others) to gain entrée to the president for a price his businesses collect.
I remember when he doubled the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago, but I missed his offers of photo ops for weddings at his properties. "Presidential infomercials" is a good recap of his abuses of office under the emoluments


dobbs: Someone tweeted that Doral leaves emolumints on guests' pillows.

I made a thing: Brr! That chill in the air means it's impeachment season. Don't forget to stay cozy and lawyer up!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]






Good timing. Who is going to stay in the thing when Trump is no longer president?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:49 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's a gorgeous building. A real hotelier could do amazing things with it.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:38 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


(I meant after Trump is president if he doesn't sell, to be clear.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:04 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Is this like Doral? He stops using the hotel and the investigation disappears?
posted by xammerboy at 7:24 PM on October 25


Doral was a declaration that he would be taking emoluments in the future, but which he walked back before getting any money. He's already made millions from this hotel, and would make millions more from the sale (itself likely at an inflated price because bribes). So I certainly hope not.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:34 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


To be strictly factual, he can't actually sell the hotel, since the building belongs to the United States; all he'd be selling is the lease. But given the amount of money he's pulled out of the building in the last 3 years, that lease transfer is going to be for a lot of cash.

Which, frankly, I'm fine with: he can use the cash to cover his legal bills, and there will no longer be a hot spot in DC for the Trumpistas to gather. And the beautiful historic building will get the respect it deserves.
posted by suelac at 8:38 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Speaking of emoluments and fucking over the taxpayer; apparently, the American taxpayer will be hosting Ivanka and Jared's wedding anniversary. At Camp Dave. Camp. FUCKING. David.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:23 PM on October 25


The anniversary party is happening over this weekend, and reports conflict as to who's footing the bill: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to host -- and pay for -- 10th anniversary party at Camp David (CNN, Oct. 26, 2019)
The White House official told CNN the anniversary party is being paid for personally by the couple, stating that "expenses at Camp David are covered by the family. Jared and Ivanka will be paying out of pocket."

But the President tweeted Saturday that he would be the one paying for the wedding anniversary.

"Had a beautiful dinner last night at Camp David in celebration of the 10th Wedding Anniversary of Ivanka and Jared,"Trump wrote. "Attended by a small number of family and friends, it could not have been nicer. Camp David is a special place. Cost of the event will be totally paid for by me!"
So, no one's getting paid. Fun fact: when the happy couple wed at Trump's golf course in Bedminster, N.J., their wedding invitation included an insert for a free round of golf at a Trump property. (Vanity Fair, 10/25/2019, as linked by SecretAgentSockpuppet)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:03 AM on October 26 [2 favorites]


« Older The Mystery of the "Terminator" Theme Time...   |   Helping the climate survivors multiply and thrive... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.