By Jonathan D. Epstein | Bloomberg
Donald Trump announced plans to sell his hotel in Washington, a property he said proved he was not beholden to Russia.
The White House said the president and Ivanka Trump would receive no income from the sale, suggesting there will be no profits from the sale.
The Trump International Hotel, located in a former post office building that had been deemed unfit for occupancy, was intended to be the centerpiece of a hotel development in the nation’s capital. The project stalled when Trump purchased the property, and he opened the Trump International Hotel in 2016. A minority share of the business was sold to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, according to Senate investigators.
An ethics lawyer for Democratic lawmakers said Trump’s decision on the Washington hotel could signal a broader shift in the president’s approach to global wealth.
“It’s not surprising the president is trying to distance himself from Russia,” Norm Eisen said. “But we saw last week that one of the ways he has never had to abandon a relationship is by selling off a property. An asset like a hotel does not just disappear. It doesn’t just sell to someone else.”
The President has come under increasing criticism as his political fortunes have slumped, with some lawmakers suggesting that he move out of Washington. After the highly controversial joint news conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ivanka Trump broke from her father and aligned herself with Democrats. The president has said his daughter, who serves as a White House adviser, has developed a great deal of independence.
Trump is trying to sell his hotel in D.C. for between $225 million and $375 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
While he has not disclosed any income from the property, the sale could still generate some income, as the hotel itself can still generate some revenue from hotel guests. And some of the proceeds may actually go to Trump or his family.
The number of people staying at the hotel and booking rooms are on the rise.