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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The man who made Trump's new Washington hotel possible: Florida Rep. John Mica

Ivanka Trump outside the new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

Ivanka Trump outside the new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.



WASHINGTON - In a ballroom room splashed with neon and sparkling chandeliers, Donald Trump and his family yesterday celebrated the opening of Trump International Hotel and paid homage to the man who made it possible: Florida Rep. John Mica.

The Orlando-area Republican led the effort to put the Old Post Office building up for lease and Trump won the bid, his daughter Ivanka playing a key role in negotiations. She mentioned Mica during the event yesterday, recalling how as chairman of the House Transportation and Public Assets Subcommittee, he held a news conference several years ago in the then-vacant building.

"It was without heat and in the freezing cold, he admonished the crowd about government excess and noted that the Old Post Office was losing the U.S. government between $6 and $8 million dollars a year,” Ivanka Trump said.

“At a committee hearing following our soft opening last month, Congressman Mica said that Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C, is now creating hundreds of jobs and is a stellar example of turning under-utilized federal property around with the help of the private sector."

Trump is paying the government $3 million a year over the course of the 60-year lease.

Democrats tried to use the Trump connection against Mica, who is fighting for political survival against political newcomer Stephanie Murphy. 

“As Ivanka Trump highlighted today, John Mica pulled out all the stops to help Donald Trump with his luxury DC hotel project,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement. “Mica has not only helped Trump line his own pockets, he’s stood by Trump every step of the way, even after he was caught bragging about sexual assault.”

Mica, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, said the deal shows he can get things done and save taxpayer money.

“They won it fair and square in open competition against Marriott, against Hilton and all the national chains," Mica said. "It will produce revenue for taxpayers for decades to come. It employs I think 600-800 people."

In July 2014, Mica's office produced this video:

[Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:07pm]


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