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Experts Say Trump’s New Hotel Brand Poses Serious Ethical Problems


The Trump Organization is launching a new hotel chain that experts believe could politically benefit investors, adding to the conflict-of-interest criticisms leveled at President Donald Trump.

Named Scion, the brand will be the family’s first hotel concept not to bear the Trump name, and Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said he will push to open up to a hundred of them within the next three years, the Associated Press reports. The Trump Organization will rely on developers and investors to pay for the expansion, a typical practice among major hotel chains, but experts said it could prove problematic when it comes to the first family.

A former chief White House ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, who served under President George W. Bush, said the Trump hotel expansion is the new version of pay-to-play. He said those who provide capital and do business with the Trump Organization could do so to gain political favor.

Danziger said he has already received letters of intent from more than 20 developers to move ahead with Scion.