A Saudi funded lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at President Donald Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel following his 2016 win according to the Washington Post.
Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of Trump’s election in 2016 — paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months, according to organizers of the trips and documents obtained by The Washington Post.
At the time, these lobbyists were reserving large numbers of D.C.-area hotel rooms as part of an unorthodox campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington — then sent them to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, according to veterans and organizers.
At first, Saudi lobbyists put the veterans up in Northern Virginia. Then, in December 2016, they switched most of their business to the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. In all, the lobbyists spent more than $270,000 to house six groups of visiting veterans at the Trump hotel, which Trump still owns.
Michael Gibson, the political lobbyist who put together this campaign for Saudi Arabia, claims that the Saudis had no intention of currying favor with the new Presidential administration by spending nearly $300,000 at the President's new hotel.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Gibson denied any selfish motive on the part of his clients, "Absolutely not. It had nothing to do with that. Not one bit.”
The veterans put up by the Saudis feel like that they were duped by both the President and Saudi Arabia.
First, they didn't know that their trip to Washington, D.C. had been sponsored by Saudi Arabia. Second, the veterans didn't realize that they were lobbying Congress on behalf of Saudi Arabia's government.