White House compiling ‘dossier’ on WaPo reporter’s work about Trump’s businesses
The White House said Thursday it is compiling a “dossier” detailing what allies to the president say are inaccurate claims made by Washington Post reporter David Farenthold and others in their coverage of the Trump Organization and its business relationships with various GOP-aligned organizations.
White House spokesman Judd Deere revealed the dossier’s apparent development in a statement to Farenthold and other Washington Post reporters who requested comment from the Trump administration for a story published Thursday in the Post detailing the lucrative business arrangements between the federal government and Trump Organization since the president took office.
“The Washington Post is blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization, and it must stop,” Deere wrote a statement to the Post. “Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people.”
White House officials did not immediately return a request for further clarification from The Hill regarding what supposed false claims the dossier describes or which other reporters were included.
Farenthold has covered the Trump Organization for years and in 2017 won the Pulitzer Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in journalism, for his 2016 coverage of the president’s charity organization which was later shut down in 2018.
The Trump Organization’s ties to the federal government under President Trump have been the subject of longstanding criticism from government ethics organizations.
They have argued that the president is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution by benefitting financially from the Trump Organization’s properties, which are often patronized by GOP groups and others seeking to curry favor with the administration.
The Post’s story published Thursday revealed the growing sum U.S. taxpayers have shelled out to Trump Organization properties since the president took office in 2017, including at least $570,000 as a direct result of Trump’s more than 260 trips to his various properties in the past 3 years.
The story also revealed the length to which the Trump Organization went to bill agencies such as the Secret Service for various uses of the properties. In one instance, Secret Service agents were charged $1,300 as a furniture removal fee during a visit to the president’s resort and golf course in Scotland, as well as charging Secret Service agents tasked with protecting the president and his family with daily “resort fees,” the newspaper reported.
In a statement to The Post, the president’s son Eric Trump highlighted the company’s pledge to donate all profits from business with foreign governments and other efforts the Trump Organization has made to avoid conflicts of interest under his father’s presidency.
“Over the past three and a half years, we have gone to tremendous lengths to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, not due to any legal requirement, but because of the respect we have towards the office of the Presidency,” Eric Trump said.