The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
A hotel in Washington, D.C., owned by President Donald Trump is asking the government for a break on its rent payments, according to a new report.
Trump International Hotel, located a few blocks from the White House, has seen revenues plunge in recent weeks because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and is looking to cut costs, The New York Times reported.
The outbreak has crushed the hotel industry as shelter-in-place guidelines issued by state governments encourage people to remain at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
The 263-room hotel is owned and operated by the Trump organization, the real estate company currently headed by the president’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
But the hotel is situated in a federally owned building on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the company makes monthly rent payments to the General Services Administration, a federal agency that manages government buildings.
The company told the Times that it has asked to delay its monthly rent payments of about $268,000 a month.
The White House, when reached for comment, referred CNBC to the Trump International Hotel. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
But Eric Trump, the president’s son and the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told the Times that the company is seeking relief that might be available to other federal tenants.
“Just treat us the same,” Eric Trump in a statement to the Times on Tuesday. “Whatever that may be is fine.”
The GSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC asking whether it’s considering offering relief to Trump International Hotel and whether it has received requests from other federal tenants.
Ultimately the agency answers to the White House, and that could make things awkward.
“Companies across the country have pleaded for relief from lenders and landlords, but the Trump Organization’s submission presents a particular predicament,” the Times reported. “If it denies the request, the agency risks running afoul of the president, who appoints its leader; but if it accommodates the Trumps, the agency is likely to draw fire from critics.”
The coronavirus has spread to dozens of countries globally, with more than 2.5 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 171,810 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 788,900 cases in the United States and at least 42,485 deaths, according to the latest tallies.