An investigation by a congressional committee has found that former US President Donald Trump “grossly exaggerated” the profitability of his Washington, DC hotel.
The committee also said he appeared to be hiding a “potential conflict of interest”.
The Trump International Hotel lost more than $70 million during his tenure, although Trump previously claimed to have earned at least $150 million during that period.
The Trump Organization denied any wrongdoing and called the report “misleading.”
In a statement, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said documents provided by the General Services Administration, which oversees federal spending, showed Trump “significantly exaggerated the finances” of the hotel.
The commission noted that the losses forced Trump Holdings to inject at least $24 million to help the ailing hotel, which is located a few blocks from the White House.
The report also found that Trump had “hid a potential conflict of interest” regarding his ownership of the hotel and his roles as a lender and guarantor of third-party loans.
Newly obtained documents indicate that the hotel received $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments, enough to cover 7,400 nights at the hotel at its average daily rate, according to the commission.
Lawmakers said the amount raised concerns about potential violations of constitutional regulations, which are intended to prevent foreign influence on federal officials.
The oversight report found that during the four years of his administration, Trump also received “significant financial interest” from Deutsche Bank.
The Democratic-led committee said this allowed Trump to delay payments on a $170 million loan for six years, and that he did not publicly disclose the benefit from a foreign bank during the presidency.
Lawmakers have requested additional documents from the public security agency for the hotel, including foreign payments and loans.
In a statement sent to the media, the Trump Organization called the report “misleading, irresponsible and unequivocally false”, and saw it as a form of “political harassment”.
The hotel opened to the public in September 2016, several weeks after Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president.
In 2017, Trump quit his companies, putting them in a fund managed by his sons.
But the Office of Government Ethics said at the time that Trump’s plan “does not meet the standards” for previous presidents. And in 2019, an internal public services oversight body said the agency chose to “ignore” the Constitution when it allowed Trump’s hotel to keep the lease after he was elected.
The Trump Organization has been looking for buyers for the 263-room hotel since 2019, but has so far been unable to sell it.
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