Blog | Zach Everson

Me, Trump Hotel DC—and you?

Trump International Hotel Washington, DC, Zach EversonAfter freelancing for most of the last 13 years, I’m looking for a full-time journalism position. My kids are older, so a flexible schedule is no longer essential. And I miss having colleagues and a collaborative work environment focused on longer-term projects.

That being said, I’d like to continue focusing on the reporting I’ve done recently. And what is that beat?

The Trump International Hotel Washington, DC.

With three constitutionally groundbreaking emoluments lawsuits in the courts, an unfair-competition suit on deck, arbitration in a class-action suit accusing the hotel of racial discrimination scheduled for September, a hearing on a request to revoke its liquor license pending, revealing FEC filings, results from outstanding FOIA requests, and the daily examples of potential conflicts of interest, there’s plenty of material to report.

Here’s some of what I’ve published already on the hotel:

    • Inside the World’s Most Controversial Hotel” for Condé Nast Traveler—a 5,500-word enterprise piece that explains the hotel’s complex legal issues via my stay there (including a brief chat with President Trump) supplemented by social-media research, campaign data, and interviews with attorneys involved in the lawsuits.
    • Trump’s D.C. Hotel Gave a Sweetheart Rate to a Pro-Immigrant Worker Group” for The Daily Beast—a scoop on a group getting a great deal at the hotel when lobbying for an increase in H-2B visas, which the Trump Organization relies upon for seasonal help and are one of the rare immigration avenues President Trump supports.
    • Why Instagram Is the Best Window into Trump-Era Corruption” for Fast Company—a feature explaining how readers can just look at their phones to see many of the concerns about the president owning hotels and golf courses.
    • Delegation From Mueller-Scrutinized Cyprus Gets Sweet Deal at Trump’s D.C. Hotel” for The Daily Beast—an exclusive on a group of expats and foreign government officials meeting at the president’s hotel with the stated goal of influencing Trump’s foreign policy.
    • How Trump’s D.C. Hotel Works to Help Swamp the Drain” for Fast Company—at the height of Trump’s Amazon bashing, the company co-sponsored a conference at his hotel—and got a month-long reprieve of criticism.
    • And this Twitter thread—thousands of sightings of politicians, government employees, foreign officials, contractors, and conference attendees; legal developments; campaign expenditures; and other breaking news about the Trump Hotel DC that don’t always necessitate an article of their own. It starts here:

    • And, for example, my Twitter thread includes nine of President Trump’s Cabinet members pictured mingling with patrons at the Trump Hotel DC

    • Details on the Trump Hotel DC’s ongoing health-inspection woes

    • An in-person sighting of T-Mobile CEO John Legere at the Trump Hotel DC chatting with Corey Lewandowski, who’s advising Legere on a planned merger with Sprint that will require US government approval

    • Mexico’s former ambassador to the United States saying an ex-US government official has indicated that the U.S. State Dept. has been instructed to suggest the Trump Hotel DC for foreign leaders

    • Russia’s U.S. ambassador hanging out in the Trump Hotel DC’s lobby

    • And human-interest stories, like Rudy Giuliani hanging out at the hotel’s sidewalk bar, after Steve Mnuchin’s wedding, in a wine-stained tux

Still wondering if one hotel merits a beat of its own? Don’t just take my word for it!

You can view more of my work in my portfolio (before focusing on the Trump Hotel DC, I was a travel writer and editor, contributing to Condé Nast Traveler, Fox News, Eater, and others) and read my corporate-looking résumé. Interested in hiring me for a full-time journalism position or know of an opening that’s a good fit?  E-mail is Thanks!

‘Fast Company’ publishes my look at Trump Organization customers who later became President Trump-backed candidates

Last month, President Trump signaled his support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) candidacy for Speaker of the House at a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., where McCarthy’s PAC spent $154,000 to host the reception and dinner for 300 guests. It’s just one of many instances where Trump Organizations customers later became President Trump-backed candidates. Read my latest article for Fast Company:

“Trump endorsements follow in the wake of candidates spending money at his properties”

‘Condé Nast Traveler’ publishes my review of the yes you guessed it Trump Hotel DC

The Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. placed third in Condé Nast Traveler‘s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 for the top hotels in the city. As I know a little bit about the hotel, the magazine asked me to answer some boilerplate questions for a review to accompany the ratings. It’s been published:

Condé Nast Traveler‘s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018: Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.

‘Fast Company’ publishes my look at Amazon Web Services and other groups hosting events at the Trump Hotel D.C.

“Trump, who has attacked Amazon on Twitter at least six times so far this year, hasn’t shamed the company since April 5. That a company publicly assailed by the president subsequently sponsored an event at that same president’s hotel—from which he can still profit—concerns government-ethics authorities. The profits go to the Trump Organization, and though the president’s business empire is now held by a trust, it’s not a blind trust, and he’s allowed to withdraw money from his enterprises at any time.”

Red the entire article:

“How Trump’s D.C. hotel works to help swamp the drain”

The Daily Beast publishes my scoop on a pro-Cyprus group hoping to influence President Trump and booking the Trump Hotel D.C.

“A delegation from the country of Cyprus was looking for ways to influence the Trump administration when it came to Washington D.C. in late May. And so, it did what many savvy influence-peddlers in the nation’s capital would do. It booked its conference in the president’s hotel.”

Read the article at

“Delegation From Mueller-Scrutinized Cyprus Gets Sweet Deal at Trump’s D.C. Hotel”


‘Condé Nast Traveler’ publishes my deep dive into the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.

Conde Nast Traveler Trump International Hotel Washington, DCToday Condé Nast Traveler published my months-in-the-making 5,500-word article on the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C.

“Inside the World’s Most Controversial Hotel”

In New York City last spring, I met with Laura Redman, one of my editors at Condé Nast Traveler. In the magazine’s 33rd floor office in One World Trade Center with a brilliant view of Lower Manhattan, Laura asked what the buzz was travel-wise in D.C. My answer would’ve worked for just about any subject area though: Trump. Just a few months into the president’s term, the new Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. had become a hot spot for like-minded political powerbrokers. And Trump’s ownership of it already had led to a watchdog group suing him for allegedly violating the Constitution’s emoluments clauses.

Also, Trump was engaged in two lawsuits with high-profile chefs who’d backed out of opening restaurants there after then-candidate Trump denigrated Mexicans on the campaign trail. While I’d covered the hotel’s opening for Fox News, I wanted to delve into those issues and research other ones that hadn’t received as much media attention—including security and what is it like to actually stay there. You know, because it’s a hotel.

A lot happened between when the piece was assigned and today. I saw Trump in the hotel. And the D.C. and Maryland attorneys general sued over emoluments concerns. And about 200 Senators and Congressmen sued over emoluments concerns. And and and…with so many issues surrounding it, many that haven’t yet been fully detailed, the Trump Hotel D.C. could merit its own vertical (hint, hint assigning editors).

Thanks to everyone at Condé Nast Traveler who worked  on the article, especially Pilar Guzmán, Laura Redman, Brad Rickman, and Alex Postman for their insightful edits, and Luke Zaleski and Carey Dunne for helpful queries and a thorough fact check. Thanks also to everyone who made time to speak with me or pass along tips for the piece.

And if 5,550 words isn’t enough for you on the doings at the Trump Hotel DC, follow me on Twitter: I’ve found

Back to the top