The next US election is still more than 1,200 days away, but Donald Trump is already drumming up cash to pay for it and chose the Trump International Hotel, two steps from the White House, as a fundraising venue.
On Wednesday, the 45th president of the United States will take part in a dinner benefiting the Republican Party and his own re-election campaign, with a seat at the table reportedly starting at $35,000.
While the phenomenon leaves many uncomfortable, it has long been part of American political life for the president to contribute star power to fundraising events — be it for his party or his own cause.
But in the case of the business mogul-turned-president Trump, things are a bit more complicated: The rich donors coming to hear to him speak Wednesday night will be contributing not only to his future campaign, but to his real estate empire as well.
Although the billionaire president has entrusted his sons with the day-to-day management of his business interests, he has retained his full stake in the Trump Organization.
Some 200 Democratic lawmakers recently sued the president, arguing that he is violating the constitution by accepting foreign payments through his empire of hotels, golf courses and other properties.
A separate suit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the US capital claims the Trump International Hotel, which opened a few weeks before the November election, enjoys an unfair advantage over rival venues due to its links to the presidency.
The location of the luxury hotel, in a historic former post office building, is a symbol in itself — Pennsylvania Avenue, which links the White House to the Capitol, the seat of legislative power.
Updated Date: Jun 28, 2017 22:07 PM