Campaigning four years ago as a Washington outsider, Donald J. Trump electrified rallies with his vows to “drain the swamp.” But once he was in the White House, President Trump didn’t merely fail to end Washington’s insider culture of lobbying and favor-seeking. He reinvented it, turning his own hotels and resorts into the Beltway’s new back rooms, where public and private business mix and special interests reign.
Federal tax-return data for Mr. Trump and his business empire obtained by The New York Times shows that even as he leveraged his image as a successful businessman to win the presidency, large swaths of his real estate holdings were under financial stress, having racked up losses over the preceding decades.
After the election, his family business discovered a lucrative new revenue stream: people who wanted something from the president.
An investigation by The Times has found over 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments that patronized Mr. Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from him and his administration. Nearly a quarter of those patrons have not been previously reported.
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