The Old Post Office in DC at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue was leased for 140 years to the Trump Organization to create the Trump International Hotel DC.
Local celebrity restauranteur Jose Andres was supposed to anchor the hotel’s dining, but backed out of the project as a result of comments by Donald Trump that “Mexico was using the U.S. as a “dumping ground” for drug dealers and rapists.”
Legal wrangling ensued — Andres was backing out of a contract, but claimed it was Trump’s comments that made the project impossible.
Discovery in lawsuits like this can be interesting. Andres, in seeking summary judgment, suggests that internal Trump Organization emails — from senior leadership and even Trump’s family — prove Trump’s comments doom business prospects.
Andres’ company, The Food Group, emailed Trump daughter Ivanka Trump on June 25 to say it was “getting crushed” over Trump’s comments. Ivanka Trump, whose Trump Organization title is executive vice president of development and acquisitions, forwarded the message to David Orowitz, a senior vice president of business development.
“Ugh,” Orowitz wrote in the email. “This is not surprising and would expect that this will not be the last that we hear of it. At least for formal prepared speeches, can someone vet going forward? Hopefully the Latino community does not organize against us more broadly in DC / across Trump properties.”
Donald Trump Jr. responded: “Yea, I was waiting for that one,” and proposed talking more the following morning.
Trump’s lawyer of course says Jose Andres wanted to back out of the deal because he didn’t like the architecture, not because of comments about Mexicans — and that written comments by Donald Trump, Jr. and the Trump Organization’s Senior Vice President of Development didn’t show disapproval of the Donald’s comments (even though they acknowledged the comments would hurt business).
And many don’t believe Trump believes the crazy stuff he says. (And Qatar CEO Akbar al-Baker among them knows crazy.)
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker with Donald and Melania Trump in 1997, via Doha News