The Trump Tower building is privately owned, but certain unusual rules Trump agreed to with the city when it was built back in the late 1970’s have some grasping at straws – is Trump still abiding by the rules?
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has used his building, Trump Tower, for several campaign-related events, including the initial launch of his campaign in June, multiple press conferences and victory celebrations, and most recently, the press conference Tuesday about his charitable donations to veterans’ groups.
Trump, who wrote the best-selling book, “The Art of The Deal,” struck a deal with the city when the building was constructed, back in the late 1970s. In return for the right to make the tower bigger, he agreed to make the large beautiful atrium open to the public daily, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The welcoming notice is clearly posted right above the front entrance to the building.
The atrium can only be closed to the public four times a year, and only with the city’s permission. According to the Associated Press, city officials told them there are no records in the past two years of the Trump Organization ever seeking permission to use the atrium for a closed event. Therefore, the Associated Press is raising the question, was the public shut out from any campaign events Trump has held in the tower? Was anyone refused entry?
An Associated Press reporter claims to have seen “only credentialed media and building employees” permitted to enter after being screened by secret service agents on Tuesday, “as onlookers peered into the building from Fifth Avenue.”
They found a tourist on the sidewalk David Miller, of Columbus, Ohio, who gave a statement that he was “disappointed he wasn’t able to make it in” to hear the press conference about the veterans’ groups. “I had really hoped to get inside and take a look and I may not be able to now,” Miller said.
After inquiring with the city’s planning and buildings department, Building Department spokesman Joe Soldevere promised the Associated Press, “We’ll investigate whether the space was closed.” Within hours, a story came out by the AP, alleging that NYC officials and city inspectors are scrutinizing Trump’s use of the building.
Michael Cohen, an executive and lawyer for the Trump Organization, told the AP, “The property was never closed and I dispute any reports from anybody stating otherwise.”