Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Trump eyes hosting election night party at his Washington hotel
27 October 2020, 01:54
Critics say the move is a reminder of how the president has used his office to personally profit.
President Donald Trump has his eye on hosting an election night party at his own Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Over the past several days, the campaign has sent fundraising emails in the president’s name offering donors the chance to enter a drawing “to join Team Trump at the Election Night Party in my favourite hotel,” in Washington, suggesting he will use his luxury hotel as the backdrop for reacting to election results.
The campaign has also spotlighted plans for the party in fundraising blasts from the president’s son Donald Trump Junior.
“November 3rd will go down in history as the night we won FOUR MORE YEARS. It will be absolutely EPIC, and the only thing that could make it better is having YOU there,” Mr Trump said in a fundraising solicitation.
For Mr Trump, an election night party at his own hotel is symbolic for a businessman who leveraged his celebrity as a reality TV star and New York real estate magnate to win the nation’s highest office.
Critics see it as one more reminder of how the president has used his office to personally profit as foreign leaders, conservative supporters and administration officials use the lobby of Washington’s Trump International Hotel as an unofficial clubhouse for the Trump presidency.
Since 2017, the president and Republican National Committee (RNC) have held several fundraisers at the president’s Washington hotel in the historic Old Post Office building, which the president’s company leases from the federal government.
Over the course of his presidency, the Trump campaign, the RNC and their joint-fundraising committees have spent more than 7.4 million dollars (£5.68 million) at Trump-branded properties.
The Washington hotel, which is blocks from the White House, has been sold out for weeks for Election Day as well as the days before and after November 3. A basic room then is going for 1,200 dollars (£920) a night, nearly triple the 476-dollar (£365) room rate on Monday.
“Donald Trump has spent his entire presidency funnelling taxpayer, campaign, special interest and foreign government money into the business that he still owns,” said Donald Sherman, deputy director of the non-profit government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“In some ways, election night is going to be the pinnacle of his self dealing.”
The White House referred questions on the president’s election night plans to the Trump campaign, which did not respond to requests for comment.