Why no rating on this article? This topic is trending among reader queries but has not yet been rated by Snopes for reasons we’ll outline below.
On Jan. 25, 2021, Snopes readers asked about reports circulating that National Guard troops were given permission by former U.S. President Donald Trump to stay at the Trump International Hotel after the inauguration of President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.
A story by conservative media outlet One America News Network claimed that Trump gave thousands of National Guard troops permission to stay at the Trump International Hotel after Capitol police “kicked them out” of the Capitol after the inauguration. They cited an “adviser” who told them that after troops were forced to rest in a parking garage, Trump “stepped in by informing the troops they could stay at his luxury hotel near the Capitol.”
Although we haven’t yet been able to definitively determine whether this content is accurate or authentic, we have observed that it has certain traits that are often indicative of misinformation:
- The claim has not yet been confirmed by official sources.
- It appears this claim is being shared widely by only one political faction.
- Despite making a claim that would be eminently newsworthy if it were true, this content has not yet been corroborated by reporting produced by reputable news outlets or journalists.
The presence of those traits does not necessarily mean that the claim or content is bogus, but it does mean you should certainly be wary of sharing it online.
Here is what we do know:
On Jan. 22, we covered how members of the National Guard were indeed temporarily relocated for their rest to a parking garage near the Capitol. After an outcry from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the soldiers were moved back to the Capitol. According to officials with the D.C. National Guard, the soldiers had hotel rooms where they could rest after a shift. But soldiers could not quickly and conveniently access their rooms as their shifts lasted just a few hours at a time and some of the hotel rooms were located in Maryland and Virginia.
On Jan. 20, Mickael Damelincourt, the managing director of Trump International Hotel, shared a video on Twitter of various police and law enforcement officers relaxing in the hotel. The video was also shared by conservative outlet Washington Examiner:
— Mickael Damelincourt (@mdamelincourt) January 20, 2021
We reached out to the Trump International Hotel over the phone to ask which members of law enforcement were resting in the hotel, for how long, whether Trump himself had invited the National Guard to stay in the hotel, and whether there were members of the guard residing there. A spokesperson said the hotel was not commenting on this matter.
We also reached out to the National Guard. Nahaku McFadden, their media operations chief, told us that they were “unaware” of contracting with the Trump Hotel, whether Trump gave permission, or whether any of guard members were residing there, and said they would have to speak to their contracting office.
McFadden did share with us the process for booking hotels for soldiers of the National Guard while they were stationed around the D.C. area: “We have personnel in our contracting office who coordinate with each hotel’s appropriate representatives to sign contracts to agree on the services, pricing, etc to provide accommodations for our National Guard members. Everything must meet the guidelines of Department of Defense lodging rates and contracting requirements. This is routine procedures for when hotel accommodations are required for our members.”
Until we hear from the National Guard’s contracting office, we cannot authoritatively rate this claim with a traditional Snopes rating.
If we receive more information, we will update this post.