Documents Detail Foreign Government Spending at Trump Hotel

From late 2017 through mid-2018, government officials from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates spent at least $164,000 at the Trump hotel, while Qatari officials and connected companies spent at least $307,000, the Oversight Committee found.

From March 7, 2018, to March 14, 2018, the Saudi Ministry of Defense spent more than $85,000, including renting several $10,500 suites. Two officials who stayed there were referred to as “His Excellency,” indicating that the Saudi royal family or senior government ministers were patronizing the Trump hotel.

On March 20, 2018, Mr. Trump met with Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler, at the White House. Two days later, the White House approved $1.3 billion in arms sales to the Saudi government.

The records released by House investigators also show a total of $65,139 in charges by the American Turkish Council, a nonprofit group with ties to the Turkish government.

The council helped sponsor two conferences held at the Trump hotel in Washington in 2017 and 2019, at around the same time President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey pushed Mr. Trump and his aides to shut down an investigation into sanctions violations by a state-owned Turkish bank. The Embassy of Turkey Delegation and Embassy of Turkey also had billing records at the hotel, but no details on the amounts paid.

Records from Mazars USA, the longtime accounting firm for Mr. Trump that cut ties with him and his family business this year, also showed $19,370 in spending by a delegation from the Embassy of China at the Trump hotel in late August 2017, two months before Mr. Trump traveled to the country.

The Trump Organization wrote checks to the Treasury Department totaling $355,687 covering profits at its hotels during the first three years of Mr. Trump’s tenure at the White House. But it never provided a breakdown of which foreign government officials had stayed at its hotels.

The House Oversight Committee, after a yearslong fight, recently entered into a legal settlement with Mazars in which the firm agreed to produce a range of financial documents from several years before Mr. Trump took office and during his early presidency. Mazars said in February that it could no longer stand behind a decade of annual financial statements it had prepared for the Trump Organization.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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