Trump breaks from campaign to celebrate Old Post Office hotel opening

By Eric DuVall
Trump breaks from campaign to celebrate Old Post Office hotel opening
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumps-up as he is congratulated by his son Eric, left, and his wife Melania after holding the ceremonial ribbon-cutting to open the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Trump's company renovated the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, turning it into a luxury hotel, finishing ahead of schedule and under budget. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Donald Trump took a break from the campaign trail Wednesday morning to mark the official opening of his luxury hotel in Washington, D.C.

Joined by his wife and children, Trump cut the ribbon on the Trump International Hotel, a luxury hotel located in the Old Post Office complex on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House.


Speaking at the event, which advisers took pains to label as a business event and not part of his presidential bid, Trump spoke to the traveling press corps in a gilded ballroom adorned with mirrors and six crystal chandeliers, lauding the project as having been completed "under budget and ahead of schedule."

The hotel officially began accepting guests as part of a soft opening in mid-September.

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Trump's remarks Wednesday were in contrast to his campaign rhetoric, which has emphasized the problems he sees plaguing the country due to free trade, lawlessness and illegal immigration. Breaking with his campaign slogan "make America great again" Trump said Wednesday ""The United States is great. It's great. Its people are great. There is no task or project too great. There is no dream outside of our reach."


Outside, a small protest gathered to highlight the plight of illegal immigrants, some of whom Hillary Clinton has said Trump employed to help renovate the massive Old Post Office building.

Tamiya Small, 19, was one of about 100 protesters outside the ribbon cutting and said the District of Columbia could have put the space to better use than building another expensive hotel that many D.C. residents cannot afford to patronize.

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"I've been living in poverty my whole life," Small said. "And just to see a luxury hotel that I know I'm never going to be able to stay in is very disappointing."

Rooms at the hotel were advertised online starting at $404 per night, according to Politico.

U.S. Park Police eventually shut down the protest because Trump's organization filed for permits in advance for use of the sidewalk as a means of preventing protesters from disrupting the event.

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Dan Waldman of Medill News Service contributed to this report.

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