This photo of Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. is the perfect example of Trump’s emoluments problem

Just stopping by to drop off an emolument.

Russia's Ambassador the U.S. Anatoly Ivanovich Antonov meets a ail salon CEO at Trump International Hotel
Russia's Ambassador the U.S. Anatoly Ivanovich Antonov meets a ail salon CEO at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (CREDIT: Instragram screenshot)

Eleonora Movsisyan is the CEO and founder of Nail Sunny, a chain of nail salons offering manicures and pedicures in several locations across Moscow. The head of the self-described “#1 nail art chain in Russia” visited Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning for a meeting with her country’s new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Ivanovich Antonov.

A photo posted on Movsisyan’s personal Instagram account, and on Nail Sunny’s company Instagram page, shows that the meeting took place at a popular locale for foreign governments eager to please President Donald Trump: the Trump International Hotel.

Despite the emoluments clause, a provision in the United States Constitution that prohibits Trump and other federal officials from receiving payments from foreign governments, diplomats from around the world have been holding events at his properties since his 2016 election.

In December 2016, ThinkProgress reported that — under pressure — the Kuwaiti government had cancelled a contract with one Washington hotel and moved a major event to Trump’s new hotel. A former Mexican ambassador has alleged that Trump’s State Department is actively encouraging world leaders to use Trump’s hotel for official visits.

Trump continues to retain full control of the hotel, despite a provision in the lease that seemingly prohibits tenants from holding government positions.


While the Instagram picture does not indicate what the CEO and the ambassador did at Trump International Hotel, it raises more questions about a president who promised not to profit from foreign governments, but has done little to follow through on that commitment. Antonov’s visit also comes amid an ongoing investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign and potential crimes related to it’s interactions with Russian officials.