SUCKING UP

Concerns Arise Over ‘Pay for Play’ at Trump Hotel

After foreign diplomats flocked to the Trump International Hotel in D.C. earlier this week, concerns have arisen about diplomats spending lavishly at President-elect Donald Trump’s properties to curry favor with the new commander-in-chief. Numerous diplomats interviewed by The Washington Post said staying at Trump’s hotel and spending money there was a simple way to get in Trump’s good books. Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States, told the Washington Post he was sure many other diplomats would avail themselves of the opportunity to get on Trump’s good side. “Some might think it’s the right way to engage, to be able to tell the next president, ‘Oh, I stayed at your hotel,’” he was cited as saying. “If I were still in government, I would discourage it, among other reasons because it can be questioned and looked at in a very poor light, as though you are trying to buy influence via a hotel bill.” And there appears to be no legislation against the president profiting off of his status or foreign diplomats using the hotel to buy themselves favor. Trump has already been under pressure to prove that he can keep his business dealings separate from his role as president, and he promised to surrender control of his business to his children. But experts warn that even that will not be enough to prove that Trump is not using the White House to enhance his wealth.