August 16, 2017
About a month after winning the presidential election, then President-elect Trump pledged “no new deals will be done [by the Trump Organization] during my term(s) in office.” Shortly before taking office, he walked that pledge back to only apply to the company’s international business, as Politico reported, “Trump’s company will not enter into new foreign deals and will appoint an ethics adviser who must approve any new domestic deals in writing, according to the ethics arrangement the president-elect laid out Wednesday.” It looks like the Trump Organization wasn’t listening.
Trump Hotels’ “For Developers” page currently reads: “Trump Hotels™ is actively expanding its portfolio of award-winning luxury hotels and resorts and seeking global opportunities for the best developments in key destinations to add to our renowned portfolio.”
At first, this might appear as a simple oversight. It’s possible that they have not updated the page in a long time. But a little research shows that is not the case. Here’s what the page looked like around Election Day:
As you can see, they replaced the phrase “The Trump family” with the term “We,” but left the reference to actively expanding their portfolio of global properties. They also removed a picture of Trump family members now in the White House. At some point, this page was vetted, and someone decided to clean it up, but not comply with the president’s unenforceable ethics promise.
So when was the language updated? Sometime between January 14 and January 18, 2017, a few days before Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. It appears that the only change the Trump Organization was interested in was superficial—they were not actually changing how they do business. Which makes one wonder how serious the “no new deals” pledge was in the first place.