Pelosi, Schumer accuse Trump of self-dealing with money for FBI headquarters

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Trump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting On The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech New poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE of self-dealing in pressing Senate Republicans to include in their coronavirus relief proposal $1.75 billion to rebuild the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington. 

Democrats suspect Trump is pressing for the money to rebuild the FBI headquarters in downtown D.C. so that it doesn’t move out from its space on 9th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and leave open a prime piece of real estate that could be occupied by a new hotel that would pose serious competition to the Trump International Hotel across the street.

“They don’t have money for food stamps, but they have money for an FBI building just so that they can diminish competition for the president’s hotel,” Pelosi said to reporters after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Pelosi: COVID talks will resume when GOP offers T MORE on Monday evening.

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Pelosi later told reporters that Trump wants to refurbish the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue “so that nobody could build a hotel across the street” from the Trump International Hotel.

Schumer also dinged the president over the earmark. 

“They managed to have enough money for $2 billion for the FBI headquarters that benefits Trump hotel, and they say they have no money for food assistance. What the heck is going on?” Schumer said.

“We just found out it was in it as we read it,” he said, describing the surprise of finding the FBI provision buried in the GOP proposal.

Pelosi and Schumer asked the senior White House officials about rebuilding the FBI headquarters at the meeting. 

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Even Senate Republicans didn’t seem thrilled about adding money for a new FBI headquarters at a time when they’ve tried to keep out provisions not directly related to responding to the pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters during a press conference earlier Monday that he was not aware the money for the FBI headquarters was included.

“You’ll have to ask them why they insisted that be included,” he said, pointing reporters to the White House.

Asked why the special earmark for the FBI was included in the Republican proposal, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Wary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS MORE (R-Ala.) told reporters, “Good question.”

“This is an administration proposal to move on with the FBI. They need a new FBI building. It's not safe to work in, and they’re talking about downsizing it anyway,” he said.

But the senior GOP lawmaker conceded the “link” between the pandemic and the need for a new FBI headquarters is a “stretch.”