Twice in the past week, major Republican fundraisers have held their events at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. — putting money in the president’s pocket as he provides access to Republican leaders and helps the party raise money for its candidates.
On Monday night, President Trump attended a fundraiser dinner held by the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) at the Trump Hotel. The closed-door event with supporters was just the latest investment the NRSC has made in the Trump-owned venue. As journalist Zach Everson noted, the NRSC has spent more than $20,000 at the Trump Hotel since Trump was elected (not counting Monday’s dinner).
For the second time in a week, @realDonaldTrump is meeting with other GOP members at his Trump Hotel DC; this time it's with the NRSC.
The NRSC already has spent more than $20,000 at the Trump Hotel DC since Trump was elected.
— Zach Everson (@Z_Everson) September 17, 2018
McClatchy White House Correspondent Antia Kumar notes that Trump has repeatedly denied media access to these fundraising events. According to Politico, among the guests Monday night were John James, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Michigan.
The NRSC event comes less than a week after Trump headlined his own Trump Victory fundraiser to benefit his 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. Donations of $100,000 were required to gain entry into the Trump Hotel roundtable, but guests could also pay $70,000 per couple for a photo op with Trump or $35,000 to attend a larger dinner.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump’s re-election campaign has spent nearly $1 million at Trump owned entities, including $113,000 at the Trump Hotel in D.C.
The Office of Government Ethics believes there are “serious concerns” about the connections between Trump’s businesses and his actions as president. The premise is that his assets have been placed in a trust managed by his sons, but of course, they engage daily in political discourse and campaign for their father as well.
The president is immune to laws that govern conflicts of interest for federal employees, which means only Congress can assess whether he’s profiting off of his power. Given Republican lawmakers have been at the top of the list of those buying access to Trump through the Trump Hotel, however, it doesn’t seem likely they’re too concerned.