Trump Administration Clears Trump Hotel

In Conflict of Interest On

Since the election, it has been clear that Donald Trump cannot both be president and maintain a lease on the government-owned Old Post Office building in Washington, where he opened an opulent hotel last year. Now, a federal official who works for the agency that negotiated the lease (and that, conveniently, reports to the president) has come up with a bizarre, tortured and ultimately dishonest rationale for why Mr. Trump can keep it.

Mr. Trump’s 2013 lease with the General Services Administration stipulates that no elected official “shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.” Legal experts say the president is clearly in violation of that clause and the government should either terminate the lease or force Mr. Trump to transfer it to somebody else. On Thursday, however, an agency contracting official, Kevin Terry, declared that the president was not in violation because he had agreed not to receive any profits from the hotel until after he leaves office.

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