U.S. News


Artist Projects 'Pay Trump Bribes Here' On Trump International Hotel

Artist Robin Bell's political work has gotten media attention before. In November, he projected, "Experts agree: Trump is a pig," on the hotel.
Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 16, 2017

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., is getting a lot of attention — but probably not the kind its owner wants.

Artist Robin Bell projected a series of messages on the front of the building Monday night. The filmmaker broadcast images like "Pay Trump bribes here" from a van parked across the street. 

Bell said he wants to bring attention to potential violations of the U.S. Constitution he claims are happening in the hotel.

Included in the projections was the emoluments clause from the Constitution; it says government officials — including the president — can't accept gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without congressional approval.

Bell included the flags of Turkey and Russia with his message. The hotel asked Bell to remove the projection.

After President Donald Trump's inauguration, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit alleging Trump violated the clause by not divesting from his businesses.

They say Trump is getting "cash and favors from foreign governments through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad."

Other plaintiffs eventually joined the lawsuit. It's a mix of restaurant and hotel owners, as well as a nonprofit association that represents thousands of workers. They claim as direct competitors of Trump properties, they could lose foreign clients who book at Trump hotels and restaurants to curry favor with the president.

Bell's political work has been in the spotlight before. He projected another message that read, "Experts agree: Trump is a pig," on the hotel in November. He also projected protest phrases on the Environmental Protection Agency building.