Trump uses his political status as an advertisement for his business, the Trump Hotel. A fundraiser held at the Trump Hotel led to a spike in the nightly rates.
The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported that the rate for a room in the Trump Hotel jumped from $500 to $6,719 on December 14. The Trump Victory Committee held a winter retreat for donors that night. Those who were able to afford such a cost were invited to the White House holiday open house. CREW calls this all “wildly corrupt.”
Even when the price falls back to its average rate, the hotel is still the most expensive one in DC. The hotel has been mostly half-empty this past year, which means it has fallen short of the company’s expectations. The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign use the hotel as a venue for fundraisers, selling out rooms and giving Trump a profit. 40 campaign events have been held at the Trump Hotel during Trump’s presidency. $20 million has been spent at the hotel.
The president and his top officials were apparently slated to appear at events at the Hotel that day. A luncheon with Vice President Mike Pence attracted 650 people alone, according to CREW.
In October, the House investigated whether or not a foreign government trying to curry favor with the president by booking rooms in the Hotel and never staying in them. Rep. Gerry Connolly called it “near raw bribery.”
The Trump Foundation used donor money from veterans to purchase a portrait of Trump for one of the Trump hotels. A state judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million in damages to nonprofit groups who had donated to the Foundation.