The Trump Organization announced Wednesday it had closed on a $375 million sale of Trump International Hotel, a magnet for both lobbyists and ethics scrutiny during the Trump administration.
The company made an estimated $100 million profit off what it called a “record-breaking sale,” despite a congressional committee’s finding that the property near the White House lost more than $70 million while former President Donald Trump was in office.
“We took a dilapidated and underutilized government building and transformed it into one of the most iconic hotels in the world. We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished,” Eric Trump, one of the former president’s adult sons, said in a statement.
The property’s lease was purchased by the CGI Merchant Group, which will rebrand the hotel as a Waldorf Astoria.
The Trump Organization initially won the right to lease and refurbish the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW from the General Services Administration in 2012.
The company said it spent $200 million refurbishing the property, which opened in September 2016, near the end of Trump’s presidential campaign. His victory that year touched off a number of legal, ethical and constitutional concerns surrounding the hotel.
The GSA’s contract with the Trump Organization said no “elected official of the Government of the United States” shall be “admitted to any share or part of this Lease,” and the emoluments clause of the Constitution prohibits payments to the president from foreign governments.
Trump announced in December 2016 that he had signed legal documents to “take me completely out of business operations,” but he still maintained his ownership interest in the company. He also vowed to donate any foreign profits from the hotel to the U.S. Treasury, but a House committee found in a report last year that the GSA did not track foreign government payments to the hotel.
The report also found the federal government failed to identify the origins of more than $75 million in loans Trump and his family made to shore up the hotel’s troubled finances.
In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee, said the “sale is the latest in a long line of questionable deals, conflicts of interest, and constitutional violations involving former President Trump and his Washington, D.C. hotel.”
Adam Reiss contributed.