Before the coronavirus placed restrictions on hotels, Trump-friendly tourists were known to pop inside at night, hoping to get a glimpse of someone they’ve seen on cable or to take in the buzzy scene of the renovated Postal Service Building.
The president will, on occasion, dine at the hotel with his favorite lawmakers and friends, and major moments of the administration — like Trump’s acquittal in the impeachment trial — have been topped off by exclusive parties with lawmakers, the president’s attorneys and top officials.
And now, even during the coronavirus pandemic, the hotel is being used as a backdrop to the convention (a suite was used as a setting for a video on Tuesday night featuring Kellyanne Conway and Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr. filmed himself getting ready in a hotel room) and an unofficial headquarters for Republican Party elite.
Instagram posts showed hotel guests sipping cocktails and posing for photos with people like Richard Grenell, the former director of national intelligence and ambassador to Germany, who is a convention speaker on Wednesday.
According to an agenda of the “Convention Celebration” obtained by POLITICO, the Trump Victory Finance Committee is hosting a three-day party at the hotel that offers Trump’s top supporters and donors a place to congregate and attend special events.
There are wine tastings with Guilfoyle and the president’s daughter Tiffany Trump, a bourbon tasting with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and a luncheon with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. Donors are getting updates on the state of the race at different meetings hosted by Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel of the Republican National Committee, Trump Victory political director Chris Carr, campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark.
Panels throughout the day touch on the themes of the convention and Trumpism, too, like “The Failed Coup,” with Matt Whitaker, Pam Bondi and Dr. Sebastian Gorka; “The Real Joe Biden,” with Corey Lewandowski and Katrina Pierson; “Big Tech Censorship,” with Donald Jr. and Charlie Kirk; “The Law & Order President,” with Rudy Giuliani; “Strengthening the U.S.-Israel Relationship”; and even a panel on the current debate over college sports during the pandemic, “Let Them Play: The Fight for Student Athletes,” with convention speaker Herschel Walker.
Administration officials appearing throughout the week include trade adviser Peter Navarro, Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House aide Andrew Giuliani, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
Each night, guests are invited to watch the speeches at the hotel, although on Thursday it’s expected that many of the people invited to the celebrations at the Trump hotel will be guests of the president at the White House for his nomination speech, set on the South Lawn.