BuzzFeed reports: For the first time, federal officials have acknowledged a potential conflict of interest that faces incoming president Donald Trump over his high-profile hotel deal with the United States government. And the federal agency that’s involved wants to talk to Trump’s transition team about it before he takes the oath of office.
In 2012, the General Services Administration agreed to lease the Old Post Office Building — a landmark building just blocks from the White House — to Trump’s organization so that the mogul could turn it into a luxury hotel. In the complicated 109-page lease, Trump is required to pay the GSA $3 million a year plus a portion of his revenue, and he has to abide by a complex set of restrictions regarding what he can do and how he can build.
But once Trump becomes president, he will have authority over the GSA and will be able to fire its administrator at will, raising profound issues of a conflict.
Questioned about that conflict, a GSA spokesperson sent a statement to BuzzFeed News: “Prior to Mr. Trump taking the oath of office, GSA plans to coordinate with the President-elect’s transition team to allow a plan to be put in place to identify and address any potential conflict of interest relating to the Old Post Office building.”
Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks did not respond to emailed questions about the matter. [Continue reading…]