AG William Barr to throw a pricey, private holiday party at DC's Trump International Hotel

  • In Politics
  • 2019-08-27 22:59:39Z

WASHINGTON - The blurred lines between President Donald Trump's private business interests and his administration are getting fuzzier by the day.

A day after the president offered up his Doral, Florida, golf resort as a potential venue for next year's G-7 summit, it was disclosed that Attorney General William Barr would be hosting a family holiday party at the Trump International Hotel, just down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Justice Department.

The attorney general settled on the Trump property after learning that Washington's Willard and Mayflower hotels could not accommodate the December event, a Justice official said, adding that Barr's business was not an attempt to win the president's favor.

Barr became Trump's second attorney general after Jeff Sessions was dismissed.

The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said career ethics officials in the Justice Department were consulted before the site was secured, and they determined that rules did not prohibit the booking.

Barr's choice of the Trump Hotel was first reported by The Washington Post, which estimated the value of the booking at about $30,000.

The attorney general pays for the annual party, which draws a swath of family and friends for food and music, the official said, adding that it was not a Justice Department event.

Earlier this week, questions about Trump's conflicting interests swirled when he pushed his Florida property into contention to host next year's gathering of the world's most industrialized countries.

Trump in France: Pitching for Doral, skipping climate session, forgetting who knows whom

The former real estate developer brushed aside longstanding ethical questions about having his properties used for official business. Without providing evidence to back up the claim, the president said he is losing billions of dollars each year in the White House.

"Probably it'll cost me anywhere from three to five billion dollars to be president," Trump told reporters at the conclusion of the G-7 meeting. "The only thing I care about is this country - couldn't care less, otherwise I wouldn't have done it."

The host city of the next year's summit has not been chosen, but Trump said it will probably be held in Miami. Trump National Doral Miami, a golf resort and hotel, is one of the sites in the running to host the meeting, he said.

At the G-7: Behind-the-scenes discord rattles summit despite Trump's claim that all is well

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Attorney General William Barr to host holiday party at Trump Hotel


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