Videos have emerged of the Trump name being removed from the former president’s flagship hotel in Washington D.C. after the property was sold off to an investment firm.
The Trump International Hotel, located just a short distance from the White House, is to be converted to a Waldorf Astoria after the Trump Organization agreed to sell the lease on the Old Post Office building to CGI Merchant Group for a reported $375 million.
Trump’s name was always planned to be removed from the hotel once the takeover was complete.
A number of videos posted on social media by New York Times reporter Eric Lipton show workers slowly dismantling the signs bearing Trump’s name from the front of the hotel ahead of the change of management.
In a statement, the Trump Organization said that the “record breaking” sale of the Trump International Hotel is the highest price per room ever achieved in Washington D.C., the highest price per room in U.S. history for a leasehold interest, and the largest sale of an historic hotel in more than 15 years.
“As a family, it has been an honor and a privilege to redevelop the Nation’s Old Post Office,” Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said in the statement.
“We took a dilapidated and underutilized government building and transformed it into one of the most iconic hotels in the world.”
In a statement posted on his Truth Social account, Donald Trump added: “The redevelopment of the long vacant and dilapidated Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. was both a great honor and achievement for The Trump Organization.
“We created a true masterpiece, and know that it will do much to glorify our Nation for many years to come. Our salutations and best wishes to The Waldorf Astoria!”
Trump opened the hotel in 2016 just a few weeks before he was elected president. During his time in the White House, the hotel was a focal point for Trump’s political world, used by diplomats, lobbyists, embassy staff and meetings for the former president and his family.
However, the hotel suffered major losses in recent years due to a mixture of the COVID-19 pandemic and a loss of prestige since Trump left the White House.
It was reported that the hotel had lost more than $70 million during Trump’s time in office, with reports that people were also put off staying at the hotel in the wake of the January 6 attack, which Trump was accused of inciting.
“It used to be the hub of Trump World but I can’t imagine who goes there now,” journalist and author Sally Quinn told The Guardian in March 2021. “I don’t know anybody who goes there or has gone there.”
Just before the sale went through, The Trump Organization agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine over allegations it illegally received excessive payments from the inauguration committee.
The settlement was not an admission of guilt from Trump, his business, or the inaugural committee.
“This was yet another example of weaponizing Law Enforcement against the Republican Party and, in particular, the former President of the United States. So bad for our Country,” Trump said in a statement to Newsweek.
“It was my great honor to have built this truly great hotel out of a structure that had laid dormant for thirty years, creating jobs and so many other benefits for the people of D.C., and indeed, our Country itself. A true landmark has been created out of nothing!”