The Trump Organization made a voluntary payment of $151,470 to the Department of the Treasury to keep a promise that the company would not benefit from foreign government payments while Donald Trump is president.
The check represents the net profits the Trump Organization — which includes both the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fl. and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. — made from doing business with foreign leaders for Trump’s first year in office, Eric Trump, executive vice president of the company, The Daily Mail reports.
“Our donation to the treasury was voluntary and one that I am very proud of,” Trump said. “Although we are not legally obligated to do this, we have pledged to account for all profits from foreign government business at our hotels and clubs and have donated that money back to the United States of America.”
Watchdog groups criticized the president and the Trump company for making money off of officials from other nations, alleging that such payments represent illegal contributions from foreign countries to the sitting U.S. president. A federal judge in December dismissed a lawsuit that argued Trump was violating the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution.
“We understand the bigger picture and believe it is simply the right thing to do,” Eric Trump said.
Trump properties have become very popular with foreign groups, and the company has hosted numerous parties over the past year. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, spent $270,000 at the Trump Hotel in D.C. between the 2016 election and the end of March, the Daily Mail reports.
Having to return all profits from such visits encourages the company not to seek out that sort of business, Trump said. “Knowing that all profits from foreign patronage at our hotels and clubs will be donated to the Treasury, we gain nothing as a business from them.”