WASHINGTON ― If there’s one thing in Washington, D.C., that stands as a symbol for what so many people find wrong about President Donald Trump, it’s his new hotel in the city — a hotel in a building owned by the government with a contract that specifies a government official (such as the president) may not hold the lease.
Yet, Trump holds it, and now is the boss of the department that’s supposed to enforce it. (Never mind the ethical problems there.)
So imagine the reaction of hundreds of thousands of people walking past the edifice Saturday during the Women’s March on Washington. The hotel doesn’t rise high on the list of concerns compared to Trump’s self-professed ill treatment of women, his suspected ties to Russia, and his stances on immigration, Muslims, Black Lives Matter or health care.
But it served as a potent symbol and lightning rod for the marchers.
There were some boos ― and a man with a bullhorn exhorting people to give Trump and the hotel the finger certainly guaranteed marchers saw the Old Post Office that’s been converted for the Trump empire.
Belinda Lai and Michelle Hsu, of the D.C. area, led a rousing chant of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” aimed at the building and the guests inside.
They dislike “everything he stands for. He’s against women, he’s against minorities,” Lai said.
“And we don’t want to support his businesses,” chimed in Hsu. (She and Lai do support the business of local celebrity chef Jose Andres, whom Trump sued after the chef backed out of opening a restaurant in the hotel.)
“These people should not be staying here, and we’re letting them know they should be ashamed of themselves,” Lai said.
Alexis Disselkoen, an artist from Los Angeles, helped hold up a giant orange banner with “TREASON” written on it.
“We believe Donald Trump’s businesses have no business in politics or our presidency,” Disselkoen said.
Susmita Kazthekar, from Illinois, posed in front of the hotel with a sign that read, “Honesty, Integrity, Accountability. Charity to all, and malice to none.”
“This is what I want in a president … I’m not seeing this,” she said.
For more of the reaction, watch the video above.