Trump’s DC hotel just banned reporter – forever – Mother Jones
Nobody knows DC’s Trump International Hotel looks a lot like Mother Jones contributor Zach Everson. Now journalist for Forbes covering money and politics, he ran a must-have newsletter called 1600 Pennsylvania during the Trump years, chronicling all the sycophants, favor seekers, influence peddlers and con artists who frequented the hotel to pay homage, literally, to then-President Trump. You can often spot Zach looking for notable guests in the lobby or flaunt himself at the very expensive bar. He was at the hotel so often that he was based on the first name of the general manager.
Last fall, Zach wrote a revealing hotel article for this magazine. One of the recurring themes was that the November election was a watershed moment not only for Trump, but for his hotel, located on a historic property administered by the General Services Administration. He wrote:
If he loses, his prized hotel could easily revert to what it was before his 2016 win, at a reduced price and empty. The sycophants, Levs and Igors, One America News Network propagandists, Nigerian politicians, America First Action fundraisers, bankers arriving from Oklahoma and White House employees and alumni of the administration will have disappeared. So are Trump’s appointed GSA lackeys who are currently overseeing his lease and approval of his eventual sale.
Oh, and Joe Biden will be Trump’s new owner.
And now, here we are.
The Trumps put the hotel on the market ahead of the election for the insanely high price of $ 500 million – and it was simply for the right to take over Trump’s lease on the building, not to own it. Then COVID struck, decimating the hospitality industry, and the Trump Organization took the hotel off the market. The company put the hotel back on sale earlier this summer. This was before New York District Attorney Cy Vance accused the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg of tax evasion, which could be a bit of a hassle for potential buyers.
Back to Zach. He visited the hotel Thursday night, intrigued by a surge in room rates, which typically points to a big event the Trump Org is trying to capitalize on, such as a Big Lie-themed rally that leads to an insurgency. In an article published earlier on Forbes, Zach explained:
The rates that night started at $ 2,400, well above the usual $ 400 to $ 700, and I wanted to know why. As I walked in, I saw a large sign that said “Arrows exterminators”. I confirmed that the exterminators were customers rather than contractors and, once this assignment was verified, I moved into the bar to see if any Swamp personalities still showed up with Trump out of power.
During Trump’s presidency, the Kuwaiti Embassy hosted parties at the DC Hotel. Now, the hotel apparently hosts pest control galas, which perfectly sums up the downward trajectory Zach predicted.
Either way, he sipped a $ 17 proseco and snapped a few photos of the scene in the lobby. Seeing no notable, he prepared to leave, making a stop in the bathroom. When he got out, the hotel’s security manager, Ernest Wojciech, waved to Zach and told him he was kicked out of the hotel – for good.
According to Zach, Wojciech told him that the crime that earned him this heavy punishment was taking photos at the hotel. This explanation is a bit of a headache, considering the place is (or at least was) basically a house of Republican hype, an Instagram backdrop for MAGA guys flaunting their prowess to Trump.
The CEO of the Trump Organization, Mickaël Damelincourt, has yet to respond to a survey as to why the hotel has taken the extraordinary step of banning a reporter for life, or at least for the life of the hotel, which may be considerably shorter. (I will update this post if we have any news.)
Perhaps hotel officials were upset that Zach revealed that hotel residents, fed up with expensive drinks in the lobby bar, were playing a local dive called Harry’s.
Additional reporting by Russ Choma.