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Trump Organization In Talks With Federal Government About Delaying D.C. Hotel Rent Payments

The entrance to the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office building in D.C.

President Donald Trump's real estate company has had conversations with his administration over delaying rent payments for his D.C. hotel.

The Trump Organization in recent weeks inquired about changing lease payments for the 263-room hotel in the federally owned Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the company confirmed to the New York Times

The company pays nearly $268K/month to the federal government under a 60-year lease it signed in 2013. Eric Trump told the Times it paid its rent on April 1, and it is seeking to be treated the same as any other company that leases space from the federal government. 

The company is also in talks with Deutsche Bank about postponing payments on its more than $300M in loans, which are connected to properties including the D.C. hotel, the Times reported.  

The discussions come as the hotel industry is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus. The Trump International Hotel is still accepting reservations, but its bar, restaurant and spa have closed, the Times reported. The company last week filed a notice indicating it is laying off 237 employees at the D.C. hotel, the Washington Business Journal reported

The Trump Organization retained JLL in October to put the hotel lease up for sale and drew multiple interested buyers. But it took the property off the market last month after the coronavirus began to impact the hotel industry, the Washington Post reported

The hotel opened in 2016, just two months before Trump won the presidential election. Trump declined to divest from his business upon taking office, and he put his sons in charge of the company's operations.

The lease raised issues after Trump took office as House Democrats on the Government Oversight Committee pointed to a clause stating no U.S. elected official could benefit from the lease.

The General Services Administration, the federal government's real estate arm, determined the arrangement didn't violate the lease. But an inspector general report released in January 2019 found the GSA "improperly ignored" constitutional issues around the lease.