Trump's DC hotel was the 'epicenter' of corruption where anyone looking to 'curry favor' could just walk in and 'flash cash,' says watchdog group

According to the head of an ethics watchdog group, the hotel that Donald Trump owned in Washington, DC, was an epicenter of corruption.

Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said in an article published by NBC News that anyone looking to curry favor with his administration could simply walk over to his hotel and flash cash.

The damning House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure report was released on Wednesday.

NBC News reported that the agency that oversaw the lease of the Trump Organization washed its hands of any responsibility in investigating ethical concerns and if the emoluments clauses of the Constitution were being followed.
The emoluments clauses prohibit a sitting president from taking payments or benefits from foreign and domestic governments.

The GSA failed to track payments from foreign governments to the hotel according to the report.

The media outlet said representatives of at least 22 foreign governments spent money at Trump properties during the early years of his presidency. The committee said there were no checks or balances to make sure the hotel's calculations were fair and accurate.
The GSA did not seek to identify the origins of more than $75 million in loans made by Trump and his family to the hotel, and whether the ultimate source of the financing posed any constitutional concerns, according to the report.
It noted that Trump's refusal to sell his hotel business was problematic and created multiple conflicts of interest during his presidency. According to NBC News, the report found that political appointees at the GSA were making real estate decisions that impacted the president's personal properties.

In his op-ed, Bookbinder explained why he thinks this matters. He wrote that they never knew if the decisions on taxes, environmental regulation, and foreign policy were in the interest of the American people or the bottom line.