Profits from foreign government patrons donated to US Treasury: Trump Organization

Donald Trump had pledged to donate foreign-patron profits while president-elect.

ByABC News
February 26, 2018, 8:31 PM

— -- Before his inauguration, when he announced he would hand his company over to his two sons, Eric and Don Jr., then President-elect Donald Trump pledged to donate all profits from foreign government patrons at his hotels and other properties.

For example, foreign dignitaries have been seen at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

On Monday, the Trump Organization announced it had kept Trump's promise and had donated profits from all foreign-government patrons to the U.S. Treasury.

George Sorial, executive vice president and chief compliance counsel for The Trump Organization, said that while donating such money was not a legal requirement, “this voluntary donation fulfills our pledge to donate profits from foreign government patronage at our hotels and similar business during President Trump’s term in office.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump hosts a business session with state governors in the State Dining Room at the White House, Feb. 26, 2018.
President Donald Trump hosts a business session with state governors in the State Dining Room at the White House, Feb. 26, 2018.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The money, donated on Feb. 22, represents profits earned from inauguration day to Dec. 31 last year, according to Sorial's statement.

Sorial did not disclose the amount of money donated, although he did say the amount “was calculated in accordance with our policy and the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry.”

A Treasury spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that the U.S. Treasury had received a check from the Trump Organization. The spokesperson did not provide any further details.

Trump did not fully divest from his financial holdings, breaking with precedent set by previous presidents to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Government ethics watchdogs, including Public Citizen, have questioned the spirit of the donation pledge, saying that the methodology used does not require the Trump Organization to account for revenues earned from foreign-government patrons of unprofitable Trump properties.

In December, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that claimed that Trump's business interests violated the Constitution's emoluments clause that prohibits the president from taking gifts and from foreign governments without permission from Congress.

ABC News' Alex Mallin contributed to this report.