Trump DC Hotel Attracting Foreign Envoys, Controversy | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first 100 days

Trump DC Hotel Attracting Foreign Envoys, Controversy

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Washington

    Donald Trump's new luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., has been attracting foreign envoys, special interest groups and a bit of controversy.

    One of the latest groups to book the hotel is the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank whose big donors will gather there Tuesday night for a speech from Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The group said Pence will talk about areas of focus for the Trump administration in the first 200 days and the conservative movement in general.

    Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    [NATL] Tennessee Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    Lawmakers in Tennessee are crying foul after Republican Rep. Mike Sparks sneaked in a resolution to honor former Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest with a bust under a different name. The resolution passed unanimously, 94-0, and the bust was installed at the state Capitol before lawmakers realized the mistake. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    The Heritage Foundation said its decision to use the hotel was driven by space needs.

    The Trump International Hotel has come under scrutiny by government ethics experts who worry that foreign governments, special interest groups and others will book rooms and events there to curry favor with the president-elect.

    The Washington Post reported last month that about 100 foreign diplomats from around the world used the hotel for a reception just a week after the election. On Dec. 15, an umbrella organization for Jewish groups is holding a joint Hanukkah party with the Azeri embassy there.

    Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said using the hotel was in no way an attempt to curry favor with the president, and that conflicts of interest are not an issue anyway, because Trump isn't president yet.

    UC Davis Now Sells Plan B and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    [NATL] UC Davis Now Sells Plan B, Pregnancy Tests and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    Students at the University of California, Davis, can now purchase $30 Plan B emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, condoms and other personal care products from a vending machine. The idea came from UC Davis senior Parteek Singh, after a friend was unable to buy emergency contraceptives in time. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    "Until Jan. 20, he's a private citizen, so I don't think the conflict issue comes in,'' Hoenlein said. "Do you think the president-elect knows who rents rooms for two hours?"

    The Azeri embassy did not respond to a phone message requesting comment. The Obama administration criticized Azerbaijan its latest annual report on human rights in April.

    A party to be held at the hotel by another foreign embassy is causing a stir.

    On Monday, U.S. Rep. James McGovern, of Massachusetts, sent a letter to Trump urging him not to accept any money from the Bahraini monarchy for use of his hotel. He cited news reports that Bahrain will hold its National Day celebrations at the hotel on Wednesday.

    Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    [NATL] Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

    (Published Saturday, April 29, 2017)

    The Bahraini embassy did not reply to an email and phone call about the event. In June, a bipartisan group of senators wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, saying they were "deeply alarmed" by the government of Bahrain's suppression of free speech and political dissent.

    The Trump Organization did not immediately reply for comment.

    Since the election, government ethics experts have called for the Trump Organization to sell its interest in the hotel.

    Aside from attempts to use the hotel to influence the president-elect, they worry about a 60-year lease that his company took out with the U.S. to use the government-owned building that houses the hotel. In addition to an annual rental fee, the Trump Organization has to pay a special payment based on various measures on how well the hotel is doing.

    Girl Scalped on Carnival Ride Talks Recovery One Year Later

    [NATL] Girl Scalped on Carnival Ride Talks Recovery One Year Later

    Elizabeth "Lulu" Gilreath talks about her recovery from a carnival ride gone very wrong. Gilreath was scalped when her hair was caught on the King's Crown ride in Omaha, Nebraska, but she does not dwell on the incident, saying "My scars don't define me."

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    Any disputes over that payment will be handled by the General Service Administration, the federal agency overseeing the property. The head of the GSA will be appointed by the new president.

    The Pence speech on Tuesday is the highlight of the Heritage Foundation's annual gathering for its biggest donors. The event is mostly being held at the Ronald Reagan Center across the street from the hotel.

    "The space wasn't large enough, and there are security concerns," said Heritage spokesman Wesley Denton. "It's just this one speech."