In the days before taking office, President Trump vowed that his companies would donate any profits made from foreign government patrons at his hotels to the U.S. Treasury to avoid any questions about conflicts of interest. Almost two months into his presidency, that hasn't happened yet. The Trump Organization now says it plans to make the donation after the end of the calendar year.
The president's company has developed a policy to help identify profits from foreign government customers and donate the money, and is implementing it, spokeswoman Amanda Miller said Friday.
Miller would not provide a copy of the policy or otherwise explain how Trump hotels and similar businesses will separate profits from foreign governments' rentals of rooms and suites, conference rooms and banquet facilities, or payments for other services at its hotels, and deliver the money to the Treasury as the president and his lawyers spelled out in a nationally televised January news conference.
“The donation will be made on an annual basis after the end of each calendar year,” Miller said.
Trump and his attorneys have repeatedly stated that while they do not believe he is required to do so, he was taking the steps to put to rest any concerns about potential conflicts of interest between his leadership of the federal government and his family's vast business empire.
The Trump Organization also would not provide USA TODAY with the dollar amount of profits it has accrued from foreign governments during Trump’s presidency so far. While foreign patronage at Trump properties in recent months has included the Kuwait Embassy’s celebration of Kuwait National Day at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in February, it is unknown how much business the Trump Organization has conducted from other national governments at its properties in the U.S. and abroad.
Sheri Dillon, an attorney representing Trump, said at a Jan. 11 news conference that the then president-elect had directed that profits from foreign government hotel business would be donated to the Treasury because “he wants to do more than what the Constitution requires.”
“President-elect Trump has decided, and we are announcing today, that he is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to the United States Treasury,” Dillon said at the time. “This way, it is the American people who will profit.”