President Trump’s Washington hotel raked in roughly $270,000 from Saudi Arabia as part of the country’s lobbying effort against a US anti-terrorism law.
The conservative Muslim kingdom hired lobbyists to fight the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which lets US citizens sue other governments for terrorist attacks.
The lobbyists shelled out about $190,000 on lodging, $78,000 on catering and $1,600 on parking at the luxe Trump International Hotel.
MSL Group, a public relations shop, revealed the payments last week in foreign lobbying documents that it filed with the Justice Department.
Michael Petruzzello, an MSL Group executive, told The Wall Street Journal that a subcontractor paid for the hotel and was later reimbursed by the Saudi government.
Petruzello said the effort was part of a lobbying campaign in which military veterans would speak against the legislation before Congress.
Congress overrode President Obama’s veto and passed the bill in 2016.
Survivors and victims’ families of 9/11 pushed for the law so they could sue countries allegedly linked to the attacks — such as Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the 19 hijackers. The Saudis deny any involvement.
Trump Organization officials said Monday night they would donate any profits from the payments at the end of the year.
The president had earlier said his company would donate profits from foreign governments to the US Treasury, but the company has refused to provide details of how that would work.