Iraqi sheikh spent 26 nights at Trump's DC hotel: Washington Post

Iraqi sheikh spent 26 nights at Trump's DC hotel: Washington Post
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A wealthy Iraqi sheikh who has urged the U.S. to take a harder stance on Iran spent 26 days at the Trump hotel in Washington D.C. last year, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Nahro al-Kasnazan's stay on the eighth floor of the Trump International Hotel was unusually long, according to the establishment’s list of “VIP Arrivals” obtained by the Post.

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The visit may have cost thousands of dollars, the newspaper noted.

“We normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel,” Kasnazan, 50, said in a recent interview with a Post reporter in Amman, Jordan. “But we just heard about this new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., and thought it would be a good place to stay.”

He told the newspaper that his choice to stay at the Trump hotel had nothing to do with lobbying and that he was in the area for medical treatment at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Just four months before his stay at the Trump hotel, Kasnazan reportedly sent letters to national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonFive bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony Chris Wallace: Sondland testimony 'took out the bus and ran over' Trump, top aides Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSondland brings impeachment inquiry to White House doorstep Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony Five bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony MORE urging them to seek closer ties with groups seeking to overthrow the Iranian government.

He wrote of his desire “to achieve our mutual interest to weaken the Iranian Mullahs regime and end its hegemony,” according to the Post.

Kasnazan has also recently registered several companies in the United States to provide private security, oil field services and construction, and told the newspaper he is eager to do business with the Trump administration.

Visits to the Trump hotel offer proximity to many people related to the Trump administration.

“We saw all the Trumpers,” Entifadh Qanbar, a Kasnazan spokesman and aide who was frequently with him at the hotel, told the Post. “Many ambassadors, many important people. We didn’t talk to them, but we saw them in the hallways.”

Kasnazan is not the only person with a potential interest in working with the Trump administration to stay at the hotel.

Saudi lobbyists reportedly paid for an estimated 500 nights' stay at the hotel just three months after Trump was elected.

Executives from telecom giant T-Mobile booked at least 52 nights there last year, according to the Post.

The Trump Organization faces two lawsuits, including one from congressional Democrats, alleging that the business it does with foreign governments violates the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars payments to presidents by foreign states.

The Trump Organization told the Post that it donated the profits from Kasnazan's stay to the U.S. Treasury as part of a voluntary policy to counter claims that the Emoluments Clause is being violated, despite the sheikh not holding government office. It did not immediately respond to a request for further information on the sheikh's visit from The Hill.

Kasnazan told the Post that during his stay, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 26, 2018, he socialized with some of the State Department’s Middle East experts outside of the hotel.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Post's report from The Hill. The State Department declined to comment.