Amid criticism that Donald Trump has been wrongly profiting from his swank Washington, D.C., hotel, the Trump Organization now is reportedly thinking of selling the lease it holds on it.
“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” Trump’s son Eric, an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, told the Wall Street Journal.
Rather than outright own the hotel, the Trump family, through its Trump Organization, leases the building that houses it—the Old Post Office Pavilion— from the federal government. And it is the lease that can be sold.
As the Washington Post notes, the Trump International Hotel, which attracts a number of foreign dignitaries, has long been a source of controversy, with critics accusing Donald Trump of unconstitutionally receiving benefits from foreign sources every time a foreign delegation stays there.
Trump’s been hit with numerous lawsuits as a result. Per the Post:
The hotel’s dealings with foreign governments have led to multiple lawsuits, congressional inquiries and investigations. In three lawsuits winding their way through the federal court system, plaintiffs argue that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars the president from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments.
The same emoluments clause that Trump just this week called “phony” during a rant against the criticisms he’s faced on this issue, most recently over his dashed hopes to host next year’s G-7 at another of his properties, the Doral in Florida.
In any case, if the Trump family does decide to sell the D.C. hotel, they will still likely make a bundle.
According to the Journal, a sale could be “one of the highest-priced hotel deals ever,” potentially generating more than $500 million for the lease rights.
“Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options,” Eric Trump told the Journal.