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Group Trashing Manafort’s ‘AirBnB Fraud’ Funded By Association That Includes Trump Hotels

While President Donald Trump has largely shied away from publicly criticizing his former campaign chair, an anti-Airbnb group linked to Trump Hotels in New York City is more than willing to trash Paul Manafort.

The headlines surrounding the indictment against the longtime GOP operative largely focused on charges that he laundered money and committed tax fraud.

Tucked inside it, however, was a charge from Mueller’s team accusing Manafort of purchasing a condo in Manhattan that he rented out on Airbnb to the tune of thousands of dollars, but then declaring it as his residence when applying for a mortgage.

Share Better, a group that bills itself as “a nationwide group of neighbors, community activists and elected officials” seeking to crack down on Airbnb, has latched onto this minor detail to further their cause.

While the organization tries to cast itself as grassroots, it is partially funded by the Hotel Association of New York City, a fact that it alludes to on its Twitter page.

Among the association’s public list of member hotels are two that bear the current President’s name: The Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and Trump SoHo.

Mediaite has reached out to the Trump Organization, Trump Hotels’ PR team and the Hotel Association of New York City to see if they had any thoughts on the campaign to go after a man closely tied to the public face of the two hotels.

So far, we have received no response.

In a statement, Share Better told Mediaite  that the Hotel Association of New York City has “absolutely no issue with educating the public about the illegal activity conducted by owners like Mr. Manfort.”

“We trust that the two Trump hotel properties that are a part of the Hotel Association would feel the same way about illegal hotel operators who are breaking New York state law, and in this case using laundered foreign money to purchase and illegally rent properties on Airbnb,” Austin Shafran, a spokesperson for ShareBetter, said.

“Among their thousands of illegal commercial operators, there are likely many more Paul Manaforts on their platform, but Airbnb refuses to disclose basic information,” Shafran added.

[image via screengrab]

 

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