T-Mobile stayed at Trump's Washington, DC hotel very sparingly before announcing its merger with Sprint in April of last year. Since then, executives have stayed at the Trump Hotel a total of 52 nights, spending around $195,000 during that time. This was disclosed in a response letter to Congress, after Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Pramila Jayapal asked why it was staying there and how much the company spent, that was obtained by The Washington Post.
After this information was originally made public last month, T-Mobile's outspoken CEO, John Legere stated that he liked staying at Trump Hotel because of the service, but also the close proximity to the Department of Justice, which is less than a block away from the hotel. Seeing as T-Mobile executives were in town to speak with the Justice Department in an effort to get this merger approved, that did make sense.
Since this report surfaced last month, T-Mobile's executives have stopped staying at Trump Hotel as often.
Congress was worried about how much T-Mobile was staying at the Trump Hotel, seeing as that is money going into the President's pocket, and could be a form of bribery to get the administration to approve of the merger – which still has not happened. This typically wouldn't even come up, seeing as the president is supposed to divest himself of all of his business dealings before entering office. However, Trump did not do so – even after telling everyone he did.
T-Mobile has not commented on the new revelations that surfaced today, but when the news broke last month, it did state that it did not think this was a big deal. Also noting that executives stay at a variety of hotels in Washington, DC and across the country. These hotels are chosen based on proximity to the meetings that they are attending.
The $195,000 that was spent at Trump Hotel in Washington DC in the past year, only represents about 14-percent of T-Mobile's total spending at DC-area hotels in the past year. With the majority of the money going to Hilton hotels. So while the number seems pretty high, that's a pretty small, overall percentage of its spending in the area.
T-Mobile says that this money went towards hotel rooms, catering, and meeting space with audio/visual equipment.
This does still look a bit suspicious, while Legere may say that he did not think this would influence the decision about this merger, it's hard to believe that it didn't cross his mind, at least a little bit. It is, indeed the closest hotel to the Department of Justice, though, which is where Legere and other executives were going to plead their case for this merger.
Now that this information is out in the public, the Democrats in the Senate and the House are going to try to block the merger, or even open more investigations into Trump's business dealings. Seeing as T-Mobile is likely not the only company that is staying at Trump's Hotel in DC, in order to get a favorable ruling.