After a quick visit to the bar of the Washington hangout, a drink, a few photos and a text on Thursday night, Everson said he was ordered to leave by Ernest Wojciech, the hotel’s director of security. Wojciech told the journalist he was getting the boot for “taking photos without permission,” Everson reported in Forbes. The reporter was then told the ban was for life.
Photos of the bar, lobby and restaurant of the renovated Old Post Office Building — owned by taxpayers and leased by the Trump Organization — have been the focus of countless Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts showing who’s dropping a dime in hopes of currying favor with former President Donald Trump.
Wojciech did not “elaborate” on the permanent ban, nor did the hotel explain its new policy to Forbes, Everson reported. The hotel did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.
Everson had headed to the hotel Thursday night after seeing that its room prices had soared. The “cheapest” room was suddenly listed at $2,400 a night, an astonishing jump from $400 just weeks before, he noted.
It might have been a rate boost to profit from the next pro-Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol, planned for Sept. 18, which is already on police radar.
But Everson surmised the hotel was scurrying for money from an exterminators convention.
So after settling up and finishing my prosecco (which was a bit bland but what can you expect at $17 a glass), I rose and took a few photos on my phone of the scene—
📸 a bustling lobby
📸 a quiet BLT Prime
📸 an empty Brioni store
— Zach Everson (@Z_Everson) August 27, 2021
Everson, formerly a contributor to Mother Jones, has long been an annoyance to the hotel, and no doubt to Trump.
He used to run a newsletter named for the hotel’s address, 1100 Pennsylvania, when Trump was in office, tracking the lobbyists, foreign dignitaries, corporate favor-seekers and sycophantic Republicans parading into the building to spend lots of money to sidle up to Trump.
Trump International apparently “didn’t appreciate my coverage anymore,” Everson wrote.
It was strange timing, though. Everson said the last time he was in the hotel was more than 15 months ago. And if he was going to be banned, he would have expected it instead when he led an “Inside Edition” film crew into the building.
Trump was rebuked after he moved into the White House and his business continued to operate the D.C. hotel. Critics saw significant expenditures there by foreign governments, corporations and the Republican Party as barely veiled bribes to the Trump Organization to angle for favors from the then-president.
Despite the uproar, the General Services Administration allowed the operation to go on. A report by the administration’s inspector general later slammed the decision, saying it violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, which forbid elected officials from collecting benefits beyond their compensation while in office.
Lawsuits filed against Trump also accused him of illegally profiting from his presidency. The suits argued that he violated the emoluments rules by accepting payments from foreign and domestic officials via large sums of money spent at Trump International Hotel — and other businesses owned by Trump and his family.
The U.S. Supreme Court tossed the suits days after Trump left office, declaring them moot because he was no longer president.
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