According to newly released confidential filings submitted by his accountants to the hotel’s landlord, the General Services Administration, former President Donald Trump’s luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., lost more than $70 million from 2016 to 2020.
Despite the fact that the hotel was losing money, Trump’s annual financial disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics revealed only the hotel’s revenues, which totaled nearly $156.6 million.
During the same time period, Trump’s accounting firm, WeiserMazars LLP, disclosed to the GSA in confidential reports that the hotel lost nearly $73.9 million. According to a new report released Friday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the discrepancy between what Trump publicly reported and what he privately disclosed had the effect of misinforming the public about the president’s financial situation.
The committee also claims that Trump concealed more than $20 million in loans made by his real estate holding company to the struggling hotel, in yet another attempt to conceal the president’s true financial situation.
“Far from being a successful investment, the Trump Hotel was a failing business saddled by debt that required bailouts from President Trump’s other businesses,” the committee wrote in a letter to Robin Carnahan, administrator of the General Services Administration, which holds the lease to Trump’s D.C. hotel’s underlying property, the historic Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“By deciding to conceal the Trump Hotel’s true financial condition from federal ethics officials and the American public, President Trump concealed conflicts of interest,” wrote Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gerry Connelly (D-VA), the committee chair and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, respectively.
It’s unclear whether Trump broke any federal rules regarding asset and income disclosure. Trump appears to have followed the letter of the law, if not the spirit, by reporting the revenues and omitting the losses.
The committee also revealed that Trump received an unexpected loan modification from Deutsche Bank halfway through his presidency, which could have saved the then-president and his struggling company tens of millions of dollars.
In 2015, Trump received a $170 million loan from Deutsche Bank’s US subsidiary to fund the hotel’s renovation and operation. Trump was supposed to start paying down the principal on that loan in 2018. However, according to the findings of the committee, “the terms of the loan were changed in 2018 to allow the Trump Hotel to defer any principal payments on the loan by six years.”
According to the committee, it is unclear how or by whom the loan modification was negotiated. According to Trump’s annual financial disclosures, the change in loan terms was never publicly disclosed.
The new findings are consistent with Trump’s alleged decades-long pattern of inflating his income, assets, and net worth while concealing his losses and liabilities. This pattern is currently being investigated by New York state authorities, who are looking into whether Trump’s company overstated the value of his properties on insurance forms while understating them on tax returns. This could be considered insurance fraud.
A tax evasion case in New York has already ensnared the company’s top accountant, longtime Trump family employee Allen Weisselberg. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty in July to a slew of charges stemming from an alleged decades-long scheme to conceal compensation he received from the company.
Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing, accusing authorities of conducting a partisan “witch hunt” against him. Trump was recently removed from Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, which he had been on for the previous 25 years. The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the commercial real estate and hotel industries, costing Trump an estimated $600 million in net worth, according to Forbes.