Speed Reads

a conflict of interest?

Federal agency says Trump must give up his D.C. hotel before his inauguration

Donald Trump can be president or a Washington, D.C., hotelier, says a federal agency, but not both. With just weeks to go before the presidential inauguration, the General Services Administration (GSA), which leases the Old Post Office building in Washington where Trump has opened his latest luxury hotel, said in a letter Tuesday that Trump will be in breach of his lease if he does not divest his stake in the hotel before taking office.

The lease that permits Trump's company to use the historic building states no "elected official of the government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom." The GSA says this means Trump must not only relinquish managerial control but his ownership interest as well.

If the president-elect refuses to comply, the GSA will bring Trump before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, an independent tribunal under the GSA's umbrella which is tasked with solving executive branch disputes. However, once Trump takes office, he will be able to direct GSA activities. The Trump team did not respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment on the GSA's ultimatum.