Texts Show SBA Staff Tried to “Crop the Opulence” from Trump Hotel Event

As SBA Administrator Linda McMahon spoke to a meeting of Louisiana business leaders in Washington, DC last month, staffers for the Small Business Administration worked behind the scenes to capture photos of the speech that hid the event’s location – the Trump International Hotel.

Text messages obtained by American Oversight under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that SBA staff exchanged a series of messages as they attempted to take a photo of the administrator’s speech that didn’t include the large Trump logo on the front of the lectern.

After one staffer successfully took a photo without the Trump logo, another replied that she would try to “crop the opulence” out of the image when posting it on social media with excerpts of the speech.

That photo ultimately made it on to the administrator’s official Twitter feed, along with several other photos in which the Trump logo is blocked from view by audience members.

The text messages, emails, and other documents related to SBA Administrator McMahon’s speech at the Trump International Hotel can be found here.

Statement from Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight:
“No matter how hard they try to hide it, it’s clear the administration is turning Washington into an extension of the Trump Organization, with cabinet secretaries playing the role of concierge to lobbyists seeking influence – all while they enrich themselves and the president’s family. Linda McMahon’s title may be Small Business Administrator but it’s obvious which business she’s most concerned about.”

President Trump has refused to divest himself of his business holdings and has continued to profit from his hotels and golf courses – frequently traveling to the properties himself, using them as venues for major events, and promoting them in public speeches.

American Oversight launched an investigation to find out how much taxpayer money the federal government is spending at Trump properties – and to determine if any agencies have established safeguards to prevent such spending.

Part of Investigation: