US POLITICS

Oh Look, Another Country Booked An Event At Trump’s D.C. Hotel

The Embassy of Kuwait will hold its National Day event at the Trump hotel, for some reason.

US POLITICS
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Dec 20, 2016 at 3:22 PM ET

While the country waits for President-elect Donald Trump to explain how (and if) he will leave his business (and the countless conflicts of interest it introduces to the office of the presidency) behind when he officially becomes the leader of the free world, another country has decided, apropos of nothing and by sheer coincidence, to hold an event in Trump’s D.C. hotel.

An article on the left-leaning website ThinkProgress claimed that the Embassy of Kuwait cancelled plans to hold its February National Day celebration at the Four Seasons, where it has held the event in the past, in favor of the Trump hotel. The articled also alleged that the “members of the Trump Organization” “encouraged” the embassy to hold the event at the Trump hotel instead. Since Trump won the general election with a minority of the popular vote, diplomats have flocked to Trump’s D.C. hotel in the hopes that giving Trump Organization business will curry favor with the incoming president. In December alone, Azerbaijan and Bahrain held events at the hotel, as did the Heritage Foundation, which honored its biggest donors with an event featuring keynote speaker Mike Pence, best known as the future vice president.

The Kuwaiti ambassador, Salem Al-Sabah, spoke to the Washington Post, and denied that it was an explicit request. Al-Sabah said he was not pressured or even asked by the Trump Organization to change the location of the event.

“It was solely done with the intention of providing our guests with a new venue,” Al-Sabah told The Post. “We have been holding the event at the Four Seasons for years. There is a new hotel in town and we thought we would give it a try.”

While the Embassy has held its National Day event at the Four Seasons in the past, it did go with a different location in 2016, The Newseum. Al-Sabah acknowledged that he reserved a space at the Four Seasons for 2017’s event but said it was not under contract to hold the event there. He just changed his mind. He said he’d “heard positive feedback” about the Trump hotel. But not from Trump, nor from anyone from the business that he continues to run while putting off announcements detailing how he will stop running it.

“I do not know President-elect Trump,” Al-Sabah said. But now, when he does meet Trump, he’ll be able to say that he had the pleasure of holding an event at one of his fine establishments.

The Trump Organization did not respond to request for comment.