Revenues were up in the first three months at the flagship hotel in the Donald Trump empire, the Trump International Hotel in midtown Manhattan — the first quarter that saw an increase in money coming in from hotel room rentals after two years in which the number slid steadily downward. But in March of 2018, the ruler of Saudi Arabia visited the United States and booked his considerable entourage into the Trump International at One Central Park West. The Saudi visit alone accounted for the fact that Trump's hotel made more more money in the first quarter of 2018 than in the past two years, according to an investigative report Friday by The Washington Post.
While the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not stay at the Trump hotel himself, and neither did any members of the Saudi royal family — because the Trump International lacked suites big enough to accommodate the Saudi royals — "many of the accompanying travelers" in the Saudi party stayed at the Trump International, attracted there by the hotel's "close industry relationships," according to a letter to investors written by the hotel's general manager Prince A. Sanders and obtained by The Post.
The previously unrevealed letter "shows how little is known about the business that the president's company does with foreign officials," Post reporters David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell wrote. "Such transactions have fueled criticism that Trump is reaping revenue from foreign governments, even as he controls U.S. foreign policy toward those countries."
The Trump International, which before Trump took it over in 1995 had been the corporate headquarters of the Hollywood movie studio Paramount Pictures as the Cinema Treasures site notes, is not the only hotel that has proven to be lucrative for Trump since he assumed the White House.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump opened a new hotel in Washington D.C. just one month prior to the 2016 presidential election — and that hotel pulled in $40.4 million in 2017 alone, according to Trump's own financial disclosure forms which he was required to file in May. Numerous foreign dignitaries and lobbyists stayed at Trump's D.C. hotel, including emissaries from Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait, in 2017.
The "emoluments clause" of Article I of the United States Constitution prohibits any federal government officeholder from "accept(ing) any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State," as The Post has reported. The District of Columbia and state of Maryland have filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the "emoluments clause" by taking payments from foreign governments through his businesses.
On July 25, a federal judge ruled that the "emoluments" lawsuit can proceed, according to Time, even though the administration has repeatedly called for the case to be dismissed.