Artist projects words 'pay Trump bribes here' onto DC hotel

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For about 10 minutes on Monday night, people (or institutions) looking to bribe President Donald Trump needed to look no further than the president's namesake upon the Washington, D.C., Trump International Hotel.

Robin Bell, a Washington-based artist and filmmaker, says he used a video projector to splash the words across an entrance to the hotel on Monday night in protest of what he called Trump's foreign ties.

"It's a pretty clear cut example of impropriety", the CNN report quotes Bell. "This is not like politics as usual. That's clear, I don't need to embellish". The Post said a passerby told a reporter a man had projected the words and images at about 9:30 p.m. local time.

Since taking office, the president has come under fire - and faces a lawsuit from the ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington - for potential violations of the emoluments clause from payments by foreign diplomats and governments in his various hotels, particularly the one in the nation's capital.

One of his slides, which Bell said he finished on the drive to the hotel, explains the Constitution's Emoluments Clause that prohibits US officials from accepting foreign gifts. Earlier this year, a D.C. wine bar filed a lawsuit against Trump alleging the five-star hotel had an unfair advantage in attracting customers.

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However, the federal government determined in March that it was not violating its lease or the clause with the agreement because, according to them, the legal arrangements Trump set up will ensure that he gets no money from the hotel while he is in office.

Referring to the hotel in a November interview with The New York Times, Trump said "the law is totally on my side, meaning, the President can't have a conflict of interest".

Bell hoped to draw attention to the accusations that foreign leaders pay for access to the president by staying at Trump's hotel.

"One of the best moments tonight was one of the big tourists buses stopped in front of the hotel, and everyone started to clap", Bell said. "Arts are what inform people. It's for discussion, where community comes together", Bell said. "He said so much that they could figure it out". "We did it at the right time because everyone is just so utterly depressed and bummed out with what's going on".

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