Saudis 'sought influence' with 500 bookings at Trump's hotel

Lester Mason
December 8, 2018

In total, the lobbyists paid almost $270,000 to house the veterans, expenses that are now being scrutinized as President Donald Trump still owns the hotel.

President Trump is facing two legal challenges over claims that he profited improperly from a foreign power after the disclosure that lobbyists representing the Saudi government paid for about 500 rooms at his Washington hotel shortly after his election victory.

As reported in The Washington Post, a veterans advocacy group, D.C. lobbyist agency, and the Saudi Arabian government are all connected to the latest veteran scandal. According to the veterans interviewed by The Washington Post, they were told that if JASTA was successfully passed, then other countries would be able to reciprocate with similar laws.

Before Trump's election, veterans stayed in Northern Virginia, and the switch to Trump International took place in December 2016, the Post reports.

One veteran mentioned that he found the entire lobby operation "puzzling".

According to the Post, David Casler, a retired Marine sergeant living in Sacramento, said he thought a nonprofit veterans group was paying to fly him to Washington and put him up in the Trump hotel.

Rooms costing as much as $768 a night were booked for the lobbyists.

Trump is the subject of two emoluments lawsuits that allege he never divested himself of his financial interests in the Trump Organization, which receives payments from foreign governments for services, such as hotel rooms and events at Trump-owned hotels.

As though it's not bad enough that the wealthiest Americans have an outsized influence on our politics, we also allow our foreign policy to be influenced, dictated, bought by foreign governments - too much money in American politics.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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