ABC Up in Arms Over AG Barr Paying for Family Party at Trump Hotel

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Despite admitting that career ethics officials for the Justice Department approved the location of Attorney General William Barr’s family holiday party, ABC’s World News Tonight was still up in arms on Tuesday after they learned he was having it at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“Now, to the new headline involving President Trump's Attorney General, William Barr tonight. ABC News confirming that AG Barr has booked the President's hotel in Washington for his own family holiday party. Reportedly spending tens of thousands at the President's hotel,” announced sensationalist anchor David Muir as if it was a scandal.

As investigative correspondent Kyra Phillips began her report, she seemed to be painting the situation as a plot by President Trump to get rich:

PHILLIPS: Over the past 24 hours, President Trump emphatic -- he's not trying to cash in on the presidency.

TRUMP: I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money.

PHILLIPS: But tonight, new questions. The Washington Post reporting Attorney General Bill Barr is spending upwards of $30,000 to throw his holiday party at the President's Washington, D.C., hotel.

[Barr] says he's paying for the 200-person bash out of his own pocket. The Justice Department telling ABC News it was all cleared by, quote, ‘Career ethics officials.’” she scoffed.

Phillip chided the President’s D.C. property, declaring: “Since it opened, the Trump International Hotel, and other Trump properties, have been under scrutiny from ethics watchdogs.” Yet, just last month, on July 10, ABC reported that a federal court threw out a lawsuit alleging the hotel was a conflict of interest and a violation of the Constitution.

 

 

At the time, Muir reported:

And a legal victory tonight for President Trump. Federal appeals court throwing out a lawsuit claiming that he violated the constitution by profiting from foreign government guests at his hotel in Washington. Maryland and the District of Columbia had claimed that the Trump International Hotel presented a conflict for the President between his business interests and the national interest.

Perhaps Phillips blinked and missed the report. No one could blame her since Muir’s news brief on Trump’s legal win lasted a fleeting 18 seconds.

As they were wrapping up the segment on Tuesday, Muir and Phillips gushed about how congressional Democrats were subpoenaing banks to get Trump’s tax returns. Yes, they’re still obsessed with those (click “expand”):

MUIR: All right, Kyra Phillips live at the White House tonight. Aside from the AG, Kyra, the President also in the news tonight, the legal battle to get his tax returns. We know Congressional Democrats subpoenaed two banks who have loaned the President money. And today, a federal judge gave banks until today to reveal if they have the President’s tax returns. Deutsche Bank acknowledging they have returns related to the subpoena. But Kyra, they won't say whether they're the President's actual tax returns?

PHILLIPS: That's exactly right, David. A lawyer for Deutsche Bank says that they will not disclose their client's name in open court. That name is redacted right now in official court documents. So, the question now is, will a judge actually force them to reveal it? The President's own lawyers have been fighting this all the way, David.

While ABC was suggesting Trump was “trying to cash in on the presidency,” they’ve ignored how former President Obama was in the process of purchasing a $15 million mansion on the water in Martha’s Vineyard. Talk about using the presidency to get rich quick. And that’s not the most hypocritical part.

Our friend Peter Hasson over at the Daily Caller uncovered how “climate change could leave Obama’s possible new mansion underwater, according to researchers funded by Obama admin.” He even provided a map that showed that the swanky new digs would be flooded out.

It should be telling that, so far, World News Tonight's evening competitors at CBS and NBC have not covered the story of Barr's family party.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
August 27, 2019
6:42:41 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Now, to the new headline involving President Trump's attorney general, William Barr tonight. ABC News confirming that AG Barr has booked the President's hotel in Washington for his own family holiday party. Reportedly spending tens of thousands at the President's hotel. The Justice Department facing questions, and ABC's Kyra Phillips at the White House.

[Cuts to video]

KYRA PHILLIPS: Over the past 24 hours, President Trump emphatic -- he's not trying to cash in on the presidency.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money.

PHILLIPS: But tonight, new questions. The Washington Post reporting Attorney General Bill Barr is spending upwards of $30,000 to throw his holiday party at the President's Washington, D.C., hotel. He says he's paying for the 200-person bash out of his own pocket. The Justice Department telling ABC News it was all cleared by, quote, "Career ethics officials."

Since it opened, the Trump International Hotel, and other Trump properties, have been under scrutiny from ethics watchdogs. And the President hasn't been shy about promoting his businesses, yesterday announcing plans to host the next G7 meeting at his Miami golf resort.

TRUMP: With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70, very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It's like -- it's like such a natural.

PHILLIPS: The President says his team scouted out a dozen other options before deciding his own hotel was the best one.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: All right, Kyra Phillips live at the White House tonight. Aside from the AG, Kyra, the President also in the news tonight, the legal battle to get his tax returns. We know Congressional Democrats subpoenaed two banks who have loaned the President money. And today, a federal judge gave banks until today to reveal if they have the President’s tax returns. Deutsche Bank acknowledging they have returns related to the subpoena. But Kyra, they won't say whether they're the President's actual tax returns?

PHILLIPS: That's exactly right, David. A lawyer for Deutsche Bank says that they will not disclose their client's name in open court. That name is redacted right now in official court documents. So, the question now is, will a judge actually force them to reveal it? The President's own lawyers have been fighting this all the way, David.

MUIR: All right, Kyra Phillips with us. Thank you, Kyra.

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