Donald Trump Jr takes over Washington hotel near White House

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Donald Trump Jr. has taken the reins of the Trump International Hotel near the White House after critics charged it was a conflict of interest for U.S. President Donald Trump to run the hotel while also running the federal government that is leasing the building to his company.

A filing with the District of Columbia government last week showed Donald Jr. took over as president of the company that runs the luxury hotel as well as a restaurant and spa in the building.

The filing left unresolved a controversy about Trump's leasing the Old Post Office, the historic government building that houses the hotel. Democrats have criticized the lease as a conflict of interest, and the agreement also has come under scrutiny from Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who heads the House of Representatives' Oversight Committee.

14 PHOTOS
Inside Donald Trump's $200M DC hotel
See Gallery
Inside Donald Trump's $200M DC hotel
The hotel is located near the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, just a short 15-minute walk to The White House North Lawn.

Crystal chandeliers hang in the lobby. The hotel's ballroom — the largest in Washington, DC — was named the "Presidential Ballroom." Facebook.com/trumpwashingtondc
An old mail chute remains, a nod to the building's past as a busy post office. Facebook.com/trumpwashingtondc
Rooms start at $460 a night for a deluxe room and go up to $12,000 a night for the presidential suite with unrestricted access to all amenities. Booking the Trump townhouse with amenities can set guests back $25,050 a night. There's also the very first Ivanka Suite, which costs $1,050 a night.

Those amenities include the 10,000-square-foot spa and fitness center designed by Ivanka Trump. Facebook.com/trumpwashingtondc
And as for the decor, you can't go far without seeing a Trump-branded product.
Conference rooms are named after former presidents — and Trump.
Dining options include David Burke's steakhouse BLT Prime and the Benjamin Bar & Lounge.
BLT Prime has tables in the mezzanine, with views of the clocktower, but there's also more intimate seating available in the lower level.
The decor was chosen by Ivanka Trump, partnering with the design firm HBA.
Also on offer in the atrium's Benjamin Bar and Lounge: ounce-sized samplings of rare wines served on a silver spoon. Facebook.com/trumpwashingtondc
A cocktail menu also includes several pricey drinks, including a $100 cocktail called "The Benjamin." Its ingredient list includes rye, potato, winter wheat vodka, raw oysters, and caviar. Facebook.com/trumpwashingtondc
Guests have been able to book rooms since September, but Wednesday's grand opening signaled its official entrance onto DC's hotel scene.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Chaffetz was scheduled to meet Trump at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, and a spokeswoman for Chaffetz said the lawmaker did not know why the president had called him in for a meeting.

Democratic lawmakers have said conflict-of-interest laws prohibit Trump, as president, from being both landlord and tenant of the hotel a few blocks from the White House.

They have asked the General Services Administration, which oversees federal property, to clarify the status of the lease arrangement.

The agency did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said the GSA has told the lawmaker it was still evaluating whether Trump was in violation of the lease.

The hotel lease held by Trump Old Post Office LLC includes a standard provision barring members of Congress or other elected federal officials such as the president from having any part of it. Trump is the company's majority owner.

The Trump International Hotel has become a rallying point for anti-Trump protesters since it opened in September. Trump said last month he would keep ownership of his global business empire but hand over control to his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

Watchdogs have said the arrangement would not prevent conflicts of interest in the White House.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.