The words “Trump” and “conflict of interest” have been used together very much frequently. CTV News reported on at least five major conflict of interest areas with the new President-elect, starting with a 10 thousand dollar bracelet worn by Ivanka Trump from her own line on 60 Minutes that was then quietly pushed to fashion writers to “drum up free publicity.” But one “business venture” that many do not know about, is the venture called “CandidateKey.”
The Democratic Coalition Against Trump, a liberal grassroots organization, has issued a press release identifying the details of this CandidateKey campaign, an advertising campaign used by Donald Trump to promote his Washington D.C. hotel during the election campaign. The hotel has already been subject to anti-Trump protests since Election Day.
— Kate Beckman (@Kate_Beckman) November 19, 2016
It is already known that foreign diplomats are flocking to the Washington D.C. hotel as they engage in political meetings, reported the Washington Post. The Washington Post reported that last weekend, 100 foreign diplomats from Brazil to Turkey, “gathered at Trump International Hotel this week to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders, and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.”
— Michael D. Silberman (@silberman1) November 20, 2016
— Trump Washington DC (@TrumpDC) November 16, 2016
Money spent by the diplomats at the hotel would have directly gone into Donald Trump’s profit margin. Some of the attendees also won raffle prizes and an opportunity to attend other Trump hotels across the world.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 19, 2016
It’s not the first time his politics and business have intertwined, according to a press release by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump. The press release states that the Democratic Coalition has found that during the election campaign, Donald Trump used the 2017 Presidential Inauguration to promote his new Washington D.C. hotel.
The promotion was called “CandidateKey.” A special web page was designed for it, and during the campaign and prior to the election, prospective customers could go and leave a deposit on the candidate of their choice, essentially betting on who they thought would win, and securing a hotel room for themselves for Inauguration Day.
oh my. this "candidate key" idea for the new trump dc hotel sounds a lot like illegal betting. https://t.co/1rLn4EEvoU
— The X2 (@TheX2BusDC) January 20, 2016
The deposit would secure a room for the individual for Inauguration, but the fine print on the website makes it clear that the deposit is not the cost of the room. A demo copy of the web page to purchase a CandidateKey for Hillary Clinton reads,
“The price you pay for a CandidateKey is the cost of securing a Candidate specific room during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. It is not the room rate. If you own a Candidate Key for the individual who wins the 2016 Presidential Election, you will pay the room rate, to be determined at a later date, which will be in line with other luxury hotels during peak dates.”
There is no print on the CandidateKey advertisement that says what happens to the money for those that select Hillary Clinton, who did not win the electoral college map in election 2016 results.
Potential customers would go to the main CandidateKey website, during the election campaign, and decide who they thought would win the election. Upon that choice, they could put a deposit to secure a room for Inauguration. A king room deposit was $500, and a deluxe one bedroom deposit was $250. Trump Hotels markets the hotel as the “ultimate in extravagance.” Here is what a room looks like.
— Trump Washington DC (@TrumpDC) November 7, 2016
The press release from the Democratic Coalition reads as follows.
“Within 14 days of the election, if the candidate who the guest had purchased a CandidateKey for won the election, the guest would be given the option to then pay to book a room for inauguration.”
The lead generating page for CandidateKey is still live.
“The CandidateKey market is now closed. If you own a CandidateKey for the candidate who wins the 2016 Presidential Election, you will be contacted directly by a representative of the Trump Hotel Collection within 14 days of the official election results announcement. They will help you complete your hotel reservation at the spectacular new Trump International Hotel.”
Scott Dworkin is Senior Adviser to the Democratic Coalition, and also author of the Dworkin Report as previously reported on by the Inquisitr. That report examines evidence linking Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, and has been sent to the White House for review.
The Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. is literally just down the street from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Take a tour.
It was this week that the Democratic Coalition discovered the evidence on “CandidateKey” according to the Coalition’s press release. Scott Dworkin said the following.
“This is another example of how Trump has leveraged his political campaign to make personal money, this time off of Hillary Clinton and her campaign. This promotion is well beyond a conflict of interest. Based on his past performance, a President Trump could do exactly the same thing – except this time around it could be leaders of foreign countries, bidding on business deals at the cost of what’s best for America.”
The Washington Post notes that foreign diplomats were at the same hotel last weekend. CTV News reports that experts on government ethics are warning the President-elect to sell off some of his holdings to shake off the appearance of the clash of private interests and public interest. CTV News reports that, “Just the appearance of conflicts is likely to tie up the new administration in investigations, lawsuits, and squabbles.”
[Feature Image By Beth J. Harpaz/AP Images]