Hail to the sleaze

Trump is partying up his inauguration…and he’s doing it at his hotel. That means he’s profiting while he parties, which is sleazy as fuck. Tomorrow at 12:01 Eastern it will become more than sleazy.

With sirens blaring, a fleet of limousines and security personnel raced down Pennsylvania Avenue twice in less than the last 24 hours to deliver Donald J. Trump to inauguration events.

But he was not heading to the White House. He was going to Trump International Hotel.

The hotel he leases from the federal government, and runs as a profit-making venture.

Conflicts that for months have been theoretical are now about to become real — most immediately a possible challenge by the federal government. It owns the building that houses Mr. Trump’s hotel and has granted him a 60-year lease. From the moment he is sworn in as president at noon Friday, Mr. Trump may be in violation of that lease, given a provision that appears to prohibit federal elected officials from renting the Old Post Office building, the Pennsylvania Avenue landmark that houses the hotel, from the government.

Guests at the hotel include foreign diplomats and politicians who could be looking to curry favor with Mr. Trump — but even the act of paying their bills as they check out after the inauguration may open Mr. Trump to a challenge that he has violated the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal government officials from taking payments or gifts from foreign governments.

Maybe the whole thing – Trump, the Old Post Office, all 50 states – will slide down into a crack in the earth’s crust tomorrow and vanish with a fearsome roar. I hope Canada and Mexico will be unharmed.

Members of Mr. Trump’s new cabinet are also staying there this week, as are dozens of big-ticket donors to his presidential election campaign and inauguration. The hotel will also be the site of a prayer breakfast on Friday before Mr. Trump is sworn in. All these bookings mean payments to the Trump Organization for the hotel rooms, meals and other accommodations.

Well at least he’s probably giving them a discount, right?

The minimum nightly rate at the hotel will be $735. One suite during inauguration week was offered for $500,000, with various perks. On Thursday, the president-elect attended a lunch with Republican leaders of Congress, cabinet members and hundreds of others in the hotel’s enormous Presidential Ballroom, which features nine glass chandeliers and gold and white walls. “This is a gorgeous room,” Mr. Trump told the gathering. “A total genius must have built this place.”

Yeah, Donnie from Queens the total genius.

Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s press secretary, defended Mr. Trump’s continued close ties to the hotel. “That he’s going to his own hotel? I mean, I think that’s pretty smart,” Mr. Spicer said. “I think the idea that he’s going to his own hotel shouldn’t be a shocker. It’s a beautiful place. It’s a place that he’s very proud of.”

Mr. Spicer added: “It’s an absolutely stunning hotel. I encourage you all to go there if you haven’t been by.”

They’re making us all proud.

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