Donald Trump’s Employees and Family are Concerned What His Candidacy is Doing to their Hotel Business

The Old Post Office in DC at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue was leased for 140 years to the Trump Organization to create the Trump International Hotel DC.

Local celebrity restauranteur Jose Andres was supposed to anchor the hotel’s dining, but backed out of the project as a result of comments by Donald Trump that “Mexico was using the U.S. as a “dumping ground” for drug dealers and rapists.”

Legal wrangling ensued — Andres was backing out of a contract, but claimed it was Trump’s comments that made the project impossible.

Discovery in lawsuits like this can be interesting. Andres, in seeking summary judgment, suggests that internal Trump Organization emails — from senior leadership and even Trump’s family — prove Trump’s comments doom business prospects.

Andres’ company, The Food Group, emailed Trump daughter Ivanka Trump on June 25 to say it was “getting crushed” over Trump’s comments. Ivanka Trump, whose Trump Organization title is executive vice president of development and acquisitions, forwarded the message to David Orowitz, a senior vice president of business development.

“Ugh,” Orowitz wrote in the email. “This is not surprising and would expect that this will not be the last that we hear of it. At least for formal prepared speeches, can someone vet going forward? Hopefully the Latino community does not organize against us more broadly in DC / across Trump properties.”

Donald Trump Jr. responded: “Yea, I was waiting for that one,” and proposed talking more the following morning.

(Emphasis mine.)

Trump’s lawyer of course says Jose Andres wanted to back out of the deal because he didn’t like the architecture, not because of comments about Mexicans — and that written comments by Donald Trump, Jr. and the Trump Organization’s Senior Vice President of Development didn’t show disapproval of the Donald’s comments (even though they acknowledged the comments would hurt business).

Many of Trump’s deals were losers to begin with, of course. He lost the Trump Shuttle without making any offensive remarks after all.

And many don’t believe Trump believes the crazy stuff he says. (And Qatar CEO Akbar al-Baker among them knows crazy.)

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker with Donald and Melania Trump in 1997, via Doha News

Perhaps the family should have stuck with giving upgrade advice. But at least Virgin America’s CEO supports him.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I enjoyed this joke item from Gary.
    As Donald Chump himself says “I”m especially happy to have the majority vote of the uneducated, I LOVE the uneducated”. It is these people that don’t look for any details in Chump’s great ideas.
    He is the best joke (and embarrassment) that has ever run for president.
    BTW: I do not vote Democrat, and kinda hope Bloomberg runs.

  2. What is al-Baker looking at in the photo above? Trump is creating a very nice frame. I think Melania knows. I cannot imagine the Trump family as the first Family. The tabloids would love it.

  3. This is an under-discussed issue right now. Let’s face it, “Trump” has traditionally been a luxury brand, largely aimed at the nouveau riche. You buy something “Trump” to say that you’ve “arrived.”

    But that’s not Trump’s brand in this election. “I love the poorly educated,” he said, and it’s true. Most people with education are repulsed by Trump the candidate. Whereas before they might be enticed by the glitz and glamour, now you might feel like a social pariah if you stay in one of his hotels or, God forbid, you own a condo in a building that’s emblazoned with the “Trump” name.

    I’d be very surprised if the Trump campaign wasn’t bad for his core businesses. And it’s likely to get a lot worse. Maybe somebody should ask him about this on the campaign trail, as he often goes bizzerk when somebody suggests he’s not as rich and successful as he wants to be.

  4. You seem to only bash Republicans. Always Shuster. Now Trump. Even Trump’s daughter the other day. Difficult spin even to attack the Trumps and present it as some type of related travel topic. So meh. But it is your travel and political blog. Your need to add to your background that you are not only a self proclaimed travel expert but also a self proclaimed political expert too.

  5. @Mike …You said it… Gary can post what he wants. Still a free country. Unless that piece of human garbage gets elected, then people of the Muslim faith, Mexicans, most immigrants and more huge demographic groups might have their liberty or citizenship revoked etc etc

    You must be proud of defending such a joke. What an A-hole of the highest order.

    What you may not consider (even though you read a travel blog) The US has to fit in with global business and society. Yes idiot…. The US only makes up less than 5% of the worlds population. The rest of the world is appalled by that moron.

    Lets hope the world will not turn its back on America, which it absolutely will if that “person” becomes leader of the free world.

  6. @Mike… Completely agree. Hey Gary, we all get it. You’re a lib and you hate Trump. How about just sticking to travel and cut out all the liberal political comments/posts. If I want to read about politics, there are lots of other places I can go.

  7. OK…l just have to jump into thus quasi-political fray.

    Let me start by saying that I am happily and proudly a member of Team Hillary.

    As for Trump hotels? It would be enjoyable to sneer & ridicule them but one thing is holding me back: I love the ones I have experienced. I’ve stayed at the Soho, Chicago and Toronto properties. Each was superbly managed with outstanding service. I live in DC but am nonetheless looking forward to the opening of the Old Post Office.

  8. @Mike I do not bash Shuster because he’s a Republican, I bash him because he’s an industry crony. There are plenty of cronyist Democrats, search my criticisms of Senator Chuck Schumer for instance!

  9. @ Gary — PLEASE keep pounding away at Nazi Trump. He is truly a terrifying prospect for America.

  10. As a friend wrote on Facebook the other day, we have Bernie Sanders running as a Democratic Socialist and Trump running as a National Socialist. “The 20th century called, they want their nightmares back!”

  11. Gary – tell your friend that Trump is not a socialist but a fascist. Nationalistic, authoritarian, belief of a superior race above others, suppression of individual rights, suppression of opposition. Nor would socialist want to concentrate wealth with with the few. Only this morning he refused to disown the support of the KKK. Think about that….

  12. I’m staying at Trump Waikiki because it’s one of the nicest properties in Waikiki (we’ll see later how it compares to the new FS). I’m not swayed one way or another by his run, although I may pick up a “make America great again” hat in the giftshop for grins.

  13. I only hope that when this campaign is over, Trump is consigned to the dustbin of political AND business history. Democrat or Republican, this would be a net positive.

  14. @andy “The US only makes up less than 5% of the worlds population. The rest of the world is appalled by that moron.” You are incredibly uneducated about the world. For example, the anti-immigrant and anti-muslim Swedish Democrats have had phenomenal growth this year – and that’s lacking any leadership even remotely as charismatic as Trump.

  15. I just returned from a week in Honolulu. I spent $1,400 a night for a Pool View Suite at Halekulani Hotel that I would otherwise have considered spending at the nearby Trump property. I considered the Trump but could not bring myself to give a property bearing his name one cent of my money. The thought of the vengeful and vindictive Trump in charge of the FBI, CIA, not to mention American military and nuclear weapons is too horrifying to imagine.

  16. The only people I see resorting to ad hominem attacks on this board are those who are anti-Trump. It’s fine, no one has to like anyone. What I don’t get, and never will, is how the U.S., and now Western Europe, are the only places in the world without the right to enforce their own immigration laws. We just had a story on this blog the other day about an idioitic Brit who used some pages out of her passport for toilet paper, and was turned back upon attempting to enter Thailand with said passport. Zero outrage there, appropriately so. However, according to some, if the U.S. were to enforce the laws already on its books, then it must make us all a bunch of racists or worse, meanwhile the full force of the law still applies to the rest of us. Can anyone break that down for me? Ideally without bringing race into it?

  17. Sure, Wes, here’s the deal. Immigration hasn’t hurt the U.S. as much as it has helped. The U.S. has enjoyed cheap, malleable labor for the jobs nobody else wants, those workers generally paid into Social Security with no return, and those workers consume which helps our consumer economy. And, having worked with some, I’ve found them to be much harder workers than average, and much more likely to keep their heads down and not cause problems.
    In short, Wes, immigration isn’t the problem for your life, or the country, that you think it is. In fact, politicians use the issue to try and trick you into giving them your vote (Trump).
    Instead of blindly lashing out at “the other”, perhaps you should educate yourself on the issues. There are many other issues that are more important to the U.S. than immigration. Politicians use immigration to distract you. It’s working.

  18. @Mike Gary bashes a lot of liberals too. Didn’t he just call Chuck Schumer an idiot? He bashes Sanders a ton on Facebook too

  19. I still cannot fathom how anyone with an education would support Donald Trump. His success shows how stupid Americans are. It will be an embarrassment again (just like when GW Moron was president) to be am American travelling abroad.

  20. I’m in Spain now and was in France last month. Everyone asks me if Americans might really elect that moron. I can only reply that there is no IQ test required to vote, and that we have a lot more uneducated people than anyone ever thought.

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