Administration

IRS nominee owns properties at Trump’s Hawaii hotel

President Trump's nominee to run the IRS did not initially disclose that he owns property at Trump's International Hotel Waikiki and Tower.

According to a memo from Senate Finance Committee staffers obtained by the Hill, Chuck Rettig, disclosed a 50-percent ownership interest in two rental units in Honolulu. 

However, he did not mention that the properties were located in the Waikiki Trump International Hotel and Tower. Rettig, a tax lawyer from Beverly Hills, Calif., bought the properties in 2006.

That detail did not come up until a June 21 meeting with committee staff. Rettig at that time said he would update his questionnaire to provide more information on the properties.

"Committee staff raised this at the nominee's June 21st due diligence meeting," the memo said. "The nominee plans to provide more detail on his Committee Questionnaire to include the full name of the property."

Rettig, who was nominated in February, faced the committee on Thursday for his hearing.

During the hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the committee, questioned Rettig about the properties. 

Wyden suggested that if Rettig wanted to prove his independence from the White House that he should sell the Trump hotel properties.

Hatch, though, pushed back on that idea.

"Any suggestion that there is a conflict of interest here is the stuff of conspiracy theories," he said.

During the hearing, Rettig vowed to run the IRS in an "impartial and unbiased manner."

He said his "overriding goal will be to strengthen and rebuild the trust between the IRS, the American people and their representatives in Congress."

A spokeswoman for Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told Politico on Thursday that Rettig's vetting process was conducted in "good faith."

He is likely to be confirmed.

This story was updated at 2:22 p.m.

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