US watchdog cites constitutional concerns over Trump hotel lease

US watchdog cites constitutional concerns over Trump hotel lease

There were "serious shortcomings" in the General Services Administration handling of President Donald Trump's lease of a government-owned building that houses his Trump International Hotel in Washington, according to a U.S. government watchdog report released on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. flags fly over the Trump International Hotel in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. flags fly over the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

WASHINGTON: There were "serious shortcomings" in the General Services Administration handling of President Donald Trump's lease of the government-owned building that houses his Trump International Hotel in Washington, according to a U.S. government watchdog report released on Wednesday.

The GSA did not address constitutional issues involved in management of the lease, according to its inspector general's report, and "the constitutional issues surrounding the president’s business interests in the lease remain unresolved." (For the inspector general's report, see: https://bit.ly/2RAV9ct)

Democrats and other critics have argued that the hotel housed in the government's historic Old Post Office represents a conflict of interest because Trump is both landlord and tenant of the building.

One of the Constitution’s emoluments provisions bars U.S. officials from accepting gifts or other emoluments from foreign governments without congressional approval.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by David Alexander and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: Reuters

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