January 12, 2018
When it comes to the Trump family, it can be hard to tell where the family business stops and the White House begins. That’s not just true for the president—his daughter Ivanka not only serves as a senior advisor in the West Wing, but also maintains ownership of her business interests, including the Ivanka brand, which just launched its first storefront, and a stake in the Trump International Hotel D.C., at which she is known to make appearances.
There are a number of ethics issues with Ivanka’s continued ownership of these assets, not the least of which is that both she and the companies can use her raised official profile as an advertisement off which to profit. The Wall Street Journal found that she wore items her brand sells in more than two-thirds of her social media postings about official appearances.
We’ve spent the last year tracking room prices at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and it looks like they too are trying to take advantage of the increased attention on Ivanka. A year ago, if you wanted to book the “Ivanka Suite” six months out, it would be one of the cheapest suites available in the hotel. Things have changed recently. It has more than doubled in price and leapfrogged three suites in the hotel not named after White House officials.
So what’s changed with the Ivanka suite? Apparently nothing. Its description on the website is almost identical now to what it was a year ago. So other than an attempt to profit off of Ivanka’s raised profile, what reason could they possibly have for drastically raising the price of the room while changing nothing about it?
Description from January 6, 2017:
Description from today:
Well, it looks like one thing has changed: the Ivanka Suite’s refreshment center appears to have lost its Nespresso machine.