Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. (AP)
The Trump Organization said Friday it is exploring the sale of the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., amid complaints from Democratic critics that President Trump is improperly profiting from it while serving in the White House.
Trump Organization Executive Vice President Eric Trump acknowledged that it was considering a buyout of its 100-year lease of the building, partly to avoid criticism of conflicts of interest.
“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel and therefore we may be willing to sell,” Eric Trump said in a statement Friday.
Democrats on Capitol Hill have questioned whether people from foreign governments have booked rooms to try to curry favor with the president. The president's son said they have taken action not to solicit business from foreign governments.
“Unlike every other hotel company, while our father is President of the United States, we have imposed voluntary restrictions and have chosen not to market, nor solicit, foreign government business during his time in office,” he continued, adding that the president is “the first” in history to donate his entire presidential salary to the U.S. government.
“He has made countless voluntary sacrifices, and while none of them are legally required, his commitment to turn away significant business during his time in office, is undoubtedly a selfless act and a major sacrifice, especially in a market dominated by foreign embassies, government patronage, and international delegations,” the president's son said.
He added: “Despite these sacrifices, the sizable donation of foreign income made by the Trump Organization to the United States Treasury every year, and the great lengths we go through to discourage foreign government business, Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. has become the #1 Hotel in our Nation’s Capital.”
The hotel, located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, is in Washington's Old Post Office Building.
According to Trump's most recent financial disclosure, the 263-room hotel took in $41 million in revenue last year, up less than half a million dollars from the previous year.
In his statement, Eric Trump addressed concerns about conflicts of interest by noting the company cuts a check to the U.S. Treasury each year for what it calculates as "profit" from foreign government business at its hotels and other properties. That amounted to $191,538 last year, up from $151,470 the previous year.
The Trump Organization said it has retained real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle to consider offers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.