Love Means Sneaking $1.75 Billion Bailout For Trump Hotel Into COVID Aid Package
Faced with the increasing likelihood that he's about to be evicted from the White House, President Trump's looting has accelerated to a feverish pace. Gotta grab that cash while you can get it, even if it means you have to steal from the coronavirus recovery package. Which is why the White House went to the mat to get a $1.75 billion line item for renovation of the FBI building across the street from Trump's hotel in DC included in the most recent version of the COVID stimulus bill.
Senate Republicans know this one stinks to high heaven, and that's why they're going out of their way to make sure their fingerprints are nowhere near this thing. After initially denying that the allocation was even in the package, Mitch McConnell finally copped to CNN that the White House "insisted that be included."
"Well, in regard to that proposal, obviously we had to have an agreement with the administration in order to get started. And they will have to answer the question as to why they insisted on that." McConnell bluffed, as if he doesn't know exactly why the president is so hot to trot on the new FBI building. "You'll have to ask them why they insisted that be included."
Even Trump's BFF Lindsey Graham backed away from this steaming turd, telling reporters, "It doesn't technically have to be COVID-related. I just don't know why we're doing that."
Which is bullshit. We all know exactly "why we're doing that."
It's not a secret that if the FBI moves out of its dilapidated, insecure headquarters in downtown DC, the property will likely be sold to a developer who'll erect a fancy new hotel to compete with the Trump International. FFS, the FBI is literally across the street from Trump's Emoluments Palace.
Trump himself had contemplated buying the property under the J. Edgar Hoover building and turning it into a hotel in 2013. But now that he owns the Trump International, he's come to the realization that it simply cannot be sold. Just two years ago the president got caught redhanded tossing out years of planing to move the FBI headquarters out of DC to the suburbs where a stand-alone campus could be hardened with a sufficient security perimeter to keep agents safe.
General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, a former RNC staffer and lifelong Republican hack, testified to Congress that she hadn't discussed ditching the long-planned move with the president. But an inspector general report at the time found that she'd had multiple meetings at the White House, including one with Trump himself. Murphy refused to disclose what was discussed at the meeting in the Oval Office on January 24, 2018, but earlier that day she met with then-Chief of Staff John Kelly and then-Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney about nixing the FBI move. Murphy also got caught cooking the books by excluding the sale of this extremely valuable piece of real estate from her cost calculations to make it seem like canceling the move would save the government money.
For his part, Trump barely tried to conceal his role in the affair, vaguely gesturing toward FBI Director Christopher Wray as the impetus for ditching the plan. But now he's not even bothering with that.
"They had options very far away from Washington and I said to them, 'Frankly you have to be near the Justice Department.' There's nothing better than the site they have," the president said last week.
So what does this have to do with the latest COVID relief package?
ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING. But if Trump is on his way out of office, he's going to stick a shiv in that FBI move while he still can. The family is trying to offload the Trump International, and they'd prefer it if their marketing materials didn't have to acknowledge several hundred brand new hotel rooms going up across the street.
And what better way to hide a couple billion dollars than in must-pass relief legislation, right? Which the GOP knows damn well, and that's why they're backing away from this one as fast as they can.
You have 98 days to vote this pack of disgraceful, unpatriotic whores out of office. DO IT.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.