WASHINGTON, D.C. June 27, 2018 – More than 200 foreign governments, interest groups, corporations and other entities have spent money at Trump properties – which means the tally has more than tripled since Public Citizen first began documenting the issue in January, according to a new report out today.
“Hotel Swamplandia: 200 Big Spenders at President Donald Trump’s Businesses” looks at the interest groups, companies, politicians and governments most enthusiastically embracing Trump and spending money socializing at his properties around the country, ostensibly to curry favor with the president. In one case, donors spent upward of $100,000 per person – $250,000 for VIP status – to attend a two-day “leadership summit” in June organized by the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, which featured the president himself, as well as former press secretary Sean Spicer and other well-known members and alumni of the administration.
To compile the list, Public Citizen analyzed campaign records, press reports and social media posts and identified:
- 121 political candidates or political groups;
- 47 businesses or business groups;
- 12 religious groups;
- 10 foreign governments or business interests;
- 8 charities;
- 4 state and local governments; and
- 2 educational institutions.
Visitors of note also include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, conservative social media stars Diamond and Silk, and the MAGA Coalition, which employs extremist former White House aide Sebastian Gorka as its chief strategist.
“At Donald Trump’s properties, you can check out any time you like, but the conflicts of interest never disappear,” said Alan Zibel, research director of Public Citizen’s Corporate Presidency project. “Trump came to office with unprecedented entanglements to foreign governments and corporate interests and did almost nothing to disengage from those obvious conflicts of interest. The eruption of shameless corruption, influence peddling and self-dealing that has followed Trump to Washington should not be a surprise.”
By spending at Trump’s properties, corporations and foreign governments are being transparent about their desire to influence the administration’s policies to their liking, the report states.