The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. banned members of the press from entering the premises this week, citing “respect of the privacy” of hotel guests.
Politico’s Daniel Lippman tried to enter the Pennsylvania, Ave. hotel Wednesday for a breakfast meeting when he was stopped and told “media” could not enter the building.
I tried to have breakfast at the Trump Hotel in DC w/ friends. But bc I’m a journalist, I was banned from going in: https://t.co/QkfTdQnezF
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) January 18, 2017
“Media is not allowed in this week in respect of the privacy of our guests,” director of sales and marketing Patricia Tang told Politico.
D.C. legal code makes it “an unlawful discriminatory practice” to deny “any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodations” based on “political affiliation [or] source of income.” As Politico notes, “source of income” likely includes a member of the media’s job in said industry.
Further, the lease for the D.C. hotel—which the Trump Organization developed in the government-owned Old Post Office building—requires Trump to “allow individuations to enter the premises to tour the historically and architecturally significant portions” of the site.
The report about access to Trump’s D.C. hotel comes among larger questions about how a Trump administration will treat the press. The president-elect made a campaign issue out of his treatment by the press, consistently railing against the “dishonest” media, and sometimes singling out reporters for ridicule and condemnation.
Last week, aides floated moving the media briefing room out of the West Wing and changing seating assignments. Wednesday, Trump clarified that he doesn’t want to “move” the location of news conferences, but warned, “some people in the press will not be able to get in.”
“We have so many people that want to go in, so we’ll have to just have to pick the people to go into the room,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”