This Is Trouble

US Constitution: Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8.

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

The US President is prohibited from accepting gifts or money from foreign governments. But Trump’s new hotel, just a few blocks from the White House, just held an event last week pitching foreign diplomatic delegations on moving their business to Trump’s hotel.

From a write up in The Washington Post

To many of the guests at the reception Tuesday, accepting an invitation to tour the $212 million hotel and check out the $20,000-a-night, 6,300-square-foot “town house” suite seemed like a good idea. They spoke admiringly about the renovation and left with a goody bag of chocolates and a brochure. It listed the choices of accommodations and meeting rooms and expounded on the location’s “striking prominence” at historical moments such as the Inauguration Day parade.

“Believe me, all the delegations will go there,” said one Middle Eastern diplomat who recently toured the hotel and booked an overseas visitor. The diplomat said many stayed away from the hotel before the election for fear of a “Clinton backlash,” but that now it’s the place to be seen.

In interviews with a dozen diplomats, many of whom declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak about anything related to the next U.S. president, some said spending money at Trump’s hotel is an easy, friendly gesture to the new president.

“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’ ” said one Asian diplomat.

Even if Trump didn’t want to enrich himself with his office, it would be all but impossible to stop all sorts of people – Americans and foreigners – from trying to ingratiate themselves with the President by staying at his hotel. Or trying to avoid offending him by staying elsewhere. But of course he is trying to enrich himself. It’s there on day one, even before day one. It just comes naturally.