Trump Attends Grand Opening Of New Washington, D.C., Hotel

Oct 26, 2016
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With the clock ticking toward the presidential election, both major party nominees are campaigning hard. But today Republican Donald Trump took a break to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at his new hotel in Washington, D.C. NPR's Sarah McCammon reports that as Trump has campaigned, he has found many opportunities to market his family's businesses.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: There was plenty of pomp and circumstance and even the ringing of bells as Donald Trump marked the official opening of his new hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue. Earlier he said the renovation of the Old Post Office building is a metaphor for what he wants to do for the country.

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DONALD TRUMP: There is no task or project too grand. There is no dream outside of our reach.

MCCAMMON: The event was also an opportunity to tout his businesses at a moment when the Republican nominee can command the attention of scores of reporters from around the world. As TV cameras rolled, Trump's daughter Ivanka ticked off a list of recent projects.

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IVANKA TRUMP: We have completed the redevelopment of Trump National Doral in Miami, Fla., the iconic Turnberry Resort in Scotland and the...

MCCAMMON: At times, Trump's campaign has felt like a long infomercial, shining a spotlight on several Trump properties like the Turnberry golf course, where he hosted a tour for reporters earlier this year.

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TRUMP: I love the people of Scotland. That's why I built - you know, I built in Aberdeen one of the great golf courses of the world.

MCCAMMON: Back in June 2015, Trump kicked off his campaign at his most famous property.

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TRUMP: It's great to be at Trump Tower. It's great to be in a wonderful city - New York.

MCCAMMON: He's returned there many times for press conferences and to places like the Mara-a-Lago Club in Florida, a Trump Golf Resort in Westchester County, N.Y., and the Trump SoHo hotel in New York City. Yesterday he held an event at his Doral resort near Miami.

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TRUMP: So we're very proud of this. It's 800 acres in the middle of Miami. It's been a tremendous success.

MCCAMMON: Along the way, he showcased his properties to a national audience, often using campaign funds to pay for services rendered by Trump businesses. There was the primary night in March at his golf club in Jupiter, Fla., when Trump discussed several current and former business ventures bearing his name.

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TRUMP: The airline, by the way - I sold the airline. You know - said Trump Airline. Well, I sold the airline. We have Trump magazine. Let me see. We sell water, and we have water. And it's a very successful - we make the finest wine, as good of wine as - Trump steaks. What are the steaks? Do we have stakes?

MCCAMMON: Just this week in what many have speculated could be a step toward a foray into television...

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're live. All right, well, here we are. Welcome to...

MCCAMMON: Trump's campaign launched "Trump Tower Live."

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And we have Mayor Giuliani...

RUDY GIULIANI: Well, nice to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...America's mayor.

GIULIANI: America's mayor.

MCCAMMON: As for the new luxury hotel in D.C., it wasn't the first or even the second time Trump had staged an event here.

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TRUMP: Nice hotel.

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MCCAMMON: In September, as reporters waited for him to acknowledge that President Obama was indeed born in the United States, Trump spent time talking up the project and honoring veterans. Today he sounded unusually subdued even as he promoted his new hotel.

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TRUMP: With the notable exception of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this is the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington, D.C.

MCCAMMON: Whatever the outcome of the election, Trump has said he'll have a place on this street, though his ideal location may be a few blocks away. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.