T-Mobile has spent $ 195,000 at Trump hotel while lobbying for Sprint merger

  Entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC
Enlarge / Entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

T-Mobile USA says it has spent $ 195,000 on President Trump's Washington, DC hotel over the past 1[ads1]0 months, while lobbying for government approval of its proposed merger with Sprint. CEO John Legere and other board members have stayed at the Trump International Hotel several times since the April 2018 merger announcement, despite reporting only one visit to the hotel before that time.

Revelation, first reported by The Washington Post today is contained in a letter T-Mobile sent to two members of the Congress.

"As far as we have been able to decide, the total amount offered by all T-Mobile employees, including [CEO John] Doctors and his management team is for all expenses for stays or meetings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington between April 2018 and the present is about $ 195,000, "T-Mobile wrote on February 21." These hotel expenses cover a variety of business-related activities and include many categories of costs, including the cost of meeting rooms, catering, business center services, audio / visual rental equipment, lodging, meals, taxes and other incidental expenses. "

Rooms at hotel st art at around $ 500 per night, while" executive "suites cost more than $ 1200 and" premier suites "over $ 1,500, based on rates We found in a search online today.

Visits started the day after the merger announcement

T-Mobile announced its agreement to purchase Sprint for $ 26 billion on April 29, 2018, and since then, it has filed a merger approval from the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. In January this year, a Post survey found that T-Mobile leaders began a series of visits to Trump's hotels one day after reporting the merger. Follow-up reports showed that T-Mobile managers had booked at least 52 nights in the hotel.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) And Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Sent a letter to Legere and asked a number of questions about the hotel visits, and T-Mobile revealed the $ 195,000 in an answer to that letter. 19659004] "The American people deserve better than an administration that seems to be selling for companies eager to lead the president's pockets," Warren and Jayapal said in a joint statement today.

"These transactions question whether T-Mobile is attempting to curry favor with the president through the Trump organization and aggravate our concerns about the president's continuing financial relationship with the Trump organization," the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Legere.

"T-Mobile respects the regulatory process"

T-Mobile's response, written by the President of the Federal Legislative Affairs Anthony Russo, noted that $ 195,000 is "about 14 percent of the $ 1.4 million T-Mobile accrued at hotels in Washington, DC during the same period of travel and other business-related activities. "T-Mobile said it spent $ 750,000 at Hilton hotels in DC over the same period.

But T-Mobile leaders hardly ever lived at Trump's DC hotel before announcing the Sprint merger. Warren and Jayapal asked T-Mobile to reveal some visits to Trump's DC hotel before April 29, 2018. T-Mobile's response letter only identified such a visit when Legere and a member of his management team stayed overnight at the Trump hotel in August 30, 2017.

"I will repeat, as we stated in our initial reply, that T-Mobile respects the regulatory review process under way for our pending merger with Sprint," wrote Russo to Warren and Jayapal. "The Ministry of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission give this transaction a thorough and objective analysis. While we understand that stays on Trump properties can be seen positively by anyone and negatively by others, we are confident that the relevant agencies address the issues before them on the benefits. "

Legends previously sent a letter of reply, with fewer details, to Warren and Jayapal. Warren's office provided a copy of the letter to Ars.

"I travel a lot while fulfilling T-Mobile United States CEO's duties and choosing my hotels based on availability, security, meeting facilities, and proximity to the activities planned in that city," Legere wrote. "Since your interest is particularly related to Trump hotel properties, I have lived at Trump properties in Chicago, New York and Washington, DC. In Washington, DC, Trump is located near my firm at 601 Pennsylvania Avenue and the Department of Legitimacy."

Legends replied "no" to the question of whether T-Mobile's visit to the Trump hotel was part of its merger approval strategy.

Legends have said he expects to get the merger approval at the end

Legends replied by Trump hotels in 2015

As pointed out in previous coverage, Legere wrote to Trump hotels in 2015 after Trump on Twitter that "T-Mobile service is terrible" and "I do not want it in my buildings." Legere later criticized Trump's hotel in two tweets, which he has since deleted.

Warren / Jayapal's letter to Legere said, "You had a particularly high profile during your stay [one day after the merger announcement] went into the lobby in an outfit described as" a walking billboard for T-Mobile, "posing for Instagram photos, and during a later stay, meeting in the lobby with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. " The lawmakers also wrote that the use of Trump's hotels seemed unusual given Leger's former mockery of a Trump hotel in New York.

In their reply to Warren and Jayapal, Legere said he always wears T-Mobile clothing.

Disrupting the wireless industry and someone fighting for our customers and employees, I have chosen to personally represent them and the T-Mobile brand I am so proud of, "Legere wrote." My entire wardrobe is made up of T- Mobile clothing, and it represents me and my passion for this company, and it has proven to be an effective advertising and marketing strategy. ”

The Trump hotel in DC opened September 12, 2016, less than two months before Trump The hotel is less than a mile from the White House, and Eric Trump runs the hotel business while his father is acting president.

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