Trump grilled me on how his D.C. hotel is doing, exec says

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com

Published: 19:00 EST, 29 December 2017 | Updated: 19:03 EST, 29 December 2017

An email sent by Jeng Chi Hung, Trump International Hotel's director of revenue management, alleged the president was still involved in his business

An email sent by Jeng Chi Hung, Trump International Hotel's director of revenue management, alleged the president was still involved in his business

President Donald Trump was supposed to be 'completely isolating' himself from his business until he's no longer in office.

However, a leaked email from from an executive at Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C. to an acquaintance asserts that the president is 'definitely involved.'

The Sept. 12 email sent by Jeng Chi Hung, Trump International Hotel's director of revenue management, was revealed by The Daily Beast in an article on the president's Pennsylvania Avenue property that's a few blocks down the road from the White House.

'I had a brief meeting with him a few weeks ago, and he was asking about banquet revenues and demographics. And, he asked if his presidency hurt the businesses. So, he seems self aware about things, at least more than he lets on,' Hung said.

President Donald Trump was supposed to be 'completely isolating' himself from his business until he's no longer in officePresident Donald Trump was supposed to be 'completely isolating' himself from his business until he's no longer in office

President Donald Trump was supposed to be 'completely isolating' himself from his business until he's no longer in office

Hung's email was swatted down as 'total nonsense' by the hotel's managing director. The executive told The Daily Beast that Hung was fluffing his feathers to make himself seem important.

'Upon review of the email referenced in your inquiry, we have met with the individual and he has confirmed that he made these comments up in an effort to enhance his sense of importance to a former employer,' Mickael Damelincourt said.

The email could grab the attention of congressional Democrats tasked with policing federal employees, nonetheless. They have already accused the president of violating a provision of his Washington, D.C. hotel's lease.

Federally elected employees are prohibited from benefiting from the profits of properties that are owned by the federal government.

The General Services Administration ruled Trump in full compliance with the deal in March because he resigned his position at the company he retains ownership of and his holdings are in a trust.

Congressional Democrats have argued in turn that Trump will belatedly receive the benefits of the lease when he leaves office.

Trump's assets moved in January into a revocable trust that was created to wall the billionaire off from the day-to-day operations of the business he left in the management of his adult sons.

The president's trust is managed by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, and the Trump Organization's chief financial officer.

'President Trump wants there to be no doubt in the minds of the American public that he is completely isolating himself from his business interests,' Trump lawyer Sherri Dillon said at a January press conference announcing the arrangement.

A February change to the trust allowed the president to ask the trustees to withdraw money for him for 'maintenance, support or uninsured medical expenses,' essentially giving him access for any reason from the fund.

The point of the trust is to separate the president from potential conflicts of interest.

Hung's email claimed that the Trump, who had dined at his Washington, D.C. property six weeks before, had found a workaround.

The email could grab the attention of congressional Democrats tasked with policing federal employees, nonetheless. They have already accused the president of violating a provision of his Washington, D.C. hotel's leaseThe email could grab the attention of congressional Democrats tasked with policing federal employees, nonetheless. They have already accused the president of violating a provision of his Washington, D.C. hotel's lease

The email could grab the attention of congressional Democrats tasked with policing federal employees, nonetheless. They have already accused the president of violating a provision of his Washington, D.C. hotel's lease

The General Services Administration ruled Trump in full compliance with the deal in March because he resigned his position at the company he retains ownership of and his holdings are in a trustThe General Services Administration ruled Trump in full compliance with the deal in March because he resigned his position at the company he retains ownership of and his holdings are in a trust

The General Services Administration ruled Trump in full compliance with the deal in March because he resigned his position at the company he retains ownership of and his holdings are in a trust

Hung said in the message that Trump is 'supposed to be out of the business and passed on to his sons, but he's definitely involved.'

Damelincourt told The Daily Beast the email was a fabrication.

'In fact, this individual confirmed to me today that he has never met the President nor did any conversation ever take place. We are continuing to investigate this matter internally,' he said.

For his part, Hung would not comment to The Daily Beast on the email.

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