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Trump hotel sale is tied to claims of conflict

Washington

THE Trump Organization's decision to explore a sale of its Washington hotel stems from concern over claims of conflicts of interest related to international guests, according to Donald Trump Jr.

"It's all international business, so we chose not to do that," the US president's son told Fox News.

"And then every time we do, we get another lawsuit about this and another lawsuit about that - it's almost easier to just stay away from it, right?"

The Trump International Hotel has become a magnet for foreign dignitaries, state government officials and lobbyists, raising questions about whether US President Donald Trump is profiting from people who spend money at hotels to curry favour with him.

Mr Trump has been the target of lawsuits and congressional scrutiny over whether he is violating the US Constitution's so-called emoluments clause.

The Trump Organization has sought to counter criticism by donating profits from foreign leaders' visits to the US Treasury, which his critics say is an un-enforceable commitment that does not resolve the constitutional issue.

The organisation has said it spent about US$212 million to redevelop the historic Old Post Office, located a short walk down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, into the hotel. It leases the property from the federal government.

Separately, Trump Golf, an arm of the president's business, announced on Twitter that it planned to expand its golf resort in Doonbeg, on the west coast of Ireland.

"The development will include a new ballroom, pool, spa, leisure facilities, 235 additional resort rooms, gate house and much more," the company said in the Twitter post on Wednesday. BLOOMBERG

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