UPDATED WITH REACTION FROM KDP: A new report from Forbes shows that as Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft directed government business to then-President Donald Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel, according to internal emails from the State Department.
In November 2018, Craft forwarded an email to a staffer regarding a conference for ambassadors in Washington D.C. In the email, Craft asked the assistant if it was an event she needed to attend, and if so she would prefer the Trump Hotel, reported Forbes.
The emails, which were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a government watchdog group, show Craft stayed at the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. three times in the first half of 2018 while on government business.
“Ambassador Craft’s apparent eagerness to direct business to a Trump-owned hotel sends a signal that U.S. foreign policy is pay-to-play,” said Jack Patterson, a spokesperson for American Oversight, in a statement to Forbes. “An American diplomat using their position to line the president’s pockets is an example of the casual corruption that permeated the Trump administration and undermines confidence in the United States.”
The Kentucky Democratic Party responded to the news on Friday, saying Craft should explain the “pay-to-play diplomacy.
“Today’s revelation that former Ambassador Kelly Craft used her time as an ambassador to direct government resources into the pockets of former President Trump raises major questions about whether she is fit to hold elected office,” said Colmon Elridge, chair for the Kentucky Democratic Party. “Kelly Craft needs to immediately explain to the public why she continuously rejected recommendations from her own staff in favor of staying in hotels owned by the former President. The apparent policy of pay-to-play diplomacy shows a dishonorable recklessness for American security that should concern every Kentuckian.”
Read the full story at Forbes.