Trump's new Washington hotel owes laborers more than $5 million

The man who bragged about stiffing workers during a presidential debate is at it again

Published January 6, 2017 10:13PM (EST)

 (Getty/Zach Gibson)
(Getty/Zach Gibson)

President-elect Donald Trump's new Washington D.C. hotel has had more than $5 million in liens filed against it due to allegations that the company has not paid the individuals who were hired to do construction work.

The Trump International Hotel, which opened in October, has had liens filed against it in November and December, according to public records reported by Bloomberg on Thursday. The allegedly stiffed individuals include electricians, wood workers and a plumbing and heating business.

This isn't the first time that Trump has been caught not paying his bills. He has been sued on many occasions for unpaid or underpaid work, including by landscapers at Riverside South Park in New York City in 2001, contractors at Trump Park Avenue in 2003 and a painter in Chicago in 2010.

Trump's tendency to stiff those who work for him even became an issue during his presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton. During the third presidential debate in October, Clinton noted that Trump "used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do: ‘You complain, I'll get you deported.’" This assertion was later verified by PolitiFact.

The Trump International Hotel has also received a great deal of controversy, mainly in the months since Trump's election. There are numerous allegations of conflict of interest involving the hotel, including reports that foreign diplomats have been encouraged to stay at there and and admission from the the Kuwaiti embassy that it was pressured by the Trump Organization to move its National Day celebration to that venue. The Heritage Foundation also hosted an event to honor its top donors at Trump's hotel -- with Vice President-elect Mike Pence delivering the keynote address.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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