Where Things Stand: Now The Trump Org Wants Equal Treatment

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WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 2, 2020: People walking outside Trump International Hotel Washington. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)
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April 22, 2020 11:20 a.m.
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They’ll have what everyone else is having.

Eric Trump, who is overseeing the operations of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. while his father is president, has requested the same rent relief from the General Services Administration that other federally owned buildings are getting while the nation grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Trump Organization pays $250,000 a month to the GSA for the hotel, which is considered a federally-owned building. Eric Trump told the New York Times that the number of visitors has obviously shrank due to the coronavirus and requested that the President Trump-owned hotel receive the same rent relief as others are getting.

“Just treat us the same,” Eric Trump said in a statement to the Times on Tuesday. “Whatever that may be is fine.”

While the request for relief is fair in this time of crisis, you could slice the richness of the request with a knife. President Trump has housed foreign officials and held fundraisers and official events at the hotel since his presidency began, blatantly lining his own family’s coffers. The use of the hotel for foreign government business has formed the basis of one of many legal complaints about the President’s alleged violation of the Emoluments Clause.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Tierney Sneed is looking into the disproportionate risk that vote-by-mail poses for minorities.

Kate Riga is following up on news that Republican members of the Wisconsin state legislature have taken legal action against state health officials for extending the stay-at-home order.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Two people in California died from COVID-19 on February 6 and 17, earlier than what was previously believed to be the first death of a COVID-19 patient in the U.S. on February 29, according to public officials in Santa Clara County, California. They had died in their homes, leaving the officials to believe that the county coroner will identify more deaths from the virus given that CDC testing had only been available to those seeking medical attention, thereby excluding individuals who had fallen ill without being recorded by the CDC. We’ll continue monitoring this new data.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who is leading the congressional panel that oversees the government’s COVID-19 bailout programs, did not publicly disclose the sale of the stocks she owned in various large banks, aircraft companies, and other businesses that would benefit from the bailouts. The fact that she did not report the transactions is a violation of the STOCK Act, which requires members of Congress to make their stock transactions public. We’ll keep an eye out for backlash to this revelation.

Today’s Rundown

12:00 p.m. ET: Trump and the first lady will hold a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn.

1:00 p.m. ET: Trump will have lunch with the secretary of state.

5:00 p.m. ET: The White House coronavirus task force will hold its daily press briefing.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

WH Yanks Surgeon General From Airwaves After Official Comments On COVID-19 Race Disparity — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

A Disturbing New Study Suggests Sean Hannity Helped Spread The Coronavirus — Zack Beauchamp

How Mitch McConnell Became Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief — Jane Mayer

The Real Story Behind That Viral Photo of President Johnson During the Vietnam War — Matt Novak

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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