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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher March 26, 2020

Trump hotels would be barred from getting coronavirus money

If Your Time is short

 

  • The Senate-approved bill prohibits Trump family hotels from getting coronavirus aid from a $500 billion fund that would be set up to help businesses that incurred losses from the coronavirus.

  • It’s possible that Trump businesses could be eligible for other types of assistance under the bill’s provisions.

At one of President Donald Trump’s daily news conferences on the coronavirus, a reporter referenced a bill that was being debated in the Senate to provide billions of dollars in relief for state and local governments, as well as the cruise and hotel industries.

"Will you commit publicly that none of that taxpayer money will go towards your own personal properties?" Trump was asked.

Trump didn’t make that commitment. He responded by saying that he hadn’t been thanked for forgoing his salary and said:

"So I’ve learned — let’s just see what happens because we have to save some of these great companies. They can be great companies, literally, in a matter of weeks. We have to save them."

The following day, March 23, 2020, a post on Facebook claimed:

"Donald Trump would receive $17 million for 3 hotels closed for 4 days under Republican bill! How in the hell is this right?!"

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

No such provision ever surfaced.

In the wee hours of March 25, 2020, the Senate reached agreement on a roughly $2 trillion bill in response to the pandemic that includes $500 billion to help distressed businesses, as well as aid to the jobless and direct payments to taxpayers. The bill passed 96-0 on March 26 and moved on to the House.

In its final form, the Senate bill included a provision, insisted upon by Democrats, to block Trump family businesses — and those controlled by other senior government officials or their immediate families — from receiving loan money under the programs.

That conflict-of-interest provision applies to the president, the vice president, the head of an executive department, or a member of Congress; and the spouse, child, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law of those officials. Businesses they control are not eligible for money from a $500 billion fund to be set up to provide aid to municipalities, states and businesses that incurred losses as a result of the coronavirus.

The president’s real estate empire could still benefit from other parts of the bill, the New York Times reported. Some hotel owners will be eligible for small-business loans, a provision that could potentially help Trump’s company continue to pay wages for its employees. The Trump Organization could also benefit from the $15 billion change to the tax code won by restaurants and retailers, the Times said.

Our ruling

A Facebook post said, "Donald Trump would receive $17 million for three hotels closed for four days under Republican bill! How in the hell is this right?!"

In discussions about legislation that would provide federal relief to businesses hurt by the coronavirus, Trump did not rule out the possibility that his businesses would apply for such aid. But no GOP bill contained language that would have given hotels owned by the Trump family $17 million. And a relief bill passed by the Senate would actually prohibit businesses owned by Trump, his family, or other top government officials from tapping into a $500 billion pool of aid to businesses, though the Trump hotels could benefit from other provisions of the aid bill.

We rate the statement False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post, March 23, 2020

The White House, news conference transcript, March 21, 2020

The White House, news conference transcript, March 22, 2020

New York Times, "Senate Plans Vote on $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill After Sealing Bipartisan Deal," March 25, 2020

New York Times, "Fine Print of Stimulus Bill Contains Special Deals for Industries," March 25, 2020

U.S. Senate, H.R. 748, accessed March 26, 2020

Washington Post, "Stimulus bill prevents Trump and his family from benefiting from loan programs," March 25, 2020

The Hill, "Stimulus bill to prohibit Trump family, lawmakers from benefiting from loan programs," March 25, 2020

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Trump hotels would be barred from getting coronavirus money

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