The Republican National Committee will host its Christmas Party this year at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the newest property of its newfound leader.
The event, which two GOP sources confirmed to The Huffington Post, is said to be a more exclusive and celebratory affair this year owing to the unexpected election victories enjoyed by the party this November. But in moving the proceedings to Donald Trump’s downtown D.C. hotel, which only opened this past fall, the committee risks furthering the perception that the president-elect is leveraging his newfound political power for private gains.
Trump has yet to announce his plans for handling or transferring his vast business empire once he takes office. But the New York Times reported on Wednesday night that Trump plans to step down from his post while still maintaining a stake in the company.
Such a move will likely leave critics and concerned politicians and observers unsatisfied about potential conflicts of interest. Already, there have been complaints that Trump has carelessly ― if not unethically ― intermingled his business and political affairs. Those first surfaced during the campaign, when he spent millions on his own plane and property, and extended to the first weeks of the transition as he made various calls to foreign officials who resided in countries where the Trump Organization does business.
His hotel in D.C. has been a focus of controversy too.
Earlier this week, the conservative Heritage Foundation hosted a reception there featuring Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Foreign diplomats, meanwhile, have said they feel pressure to stay at the Trump International while in town, if only because staying elsewhere would send a bad signal to the incoming administration.
The Trump campaign, the RNC and the Trump International hotel would not comment for this story.