'House of Cards' Creator Urges People to Use This Script to Speak out Against Trump's D.C. Hotel

December 21st 2016

Lucy Tiven

"House of Cards" offers a withering critique of Washington, D.C., insiders and their Machiavellian instincts, and the show's creator recently unveiled an important piece of writing on Twitter - a phone script. 

Beau Willimon urged people in a tweet on Tuesday to use a phone script to speak out against Donald Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

The writer and producer asked his Twitter followers to call the hotel and demand the president-elect sell it, providing a script of what to say on the phone in a Google document.

The concerns the hotel raises are twofold, Willimon explained.

trump hotel dc

"If Trump does not sell the hotel he will profit from diplomats, lobbyists and special interests seeking to curry favor with his administration, or who hope avoid retaliation for giving business to his competitors," he wrote. "The hotel's property is also leased to Trump by the federal government, creating a second layer of conflict. By flooding the hotel with calls we can apply both public and media pressure for Trump to sell the hotel - the only surefire way to prevent such conflicts of interest."

He instructed callers to be polite and not to punish receptionists or other hotel staff, but to persist until they get answers.

The script includes a number to call and instructs people to say the following at the beginning of the call: “Hello, I’m interested in staying at your hotel but feel uncomfortable doing so while there is a conflict of interest with the incoming administration. Can you please tell me when the Trump Organization plans to sell the hotel?  

ATTN: reached out to transition team national press secretary Hope Hicks for comment and will update this post if we hear back. 

It's easy to get lost in the laundry list of potential conflicts of interest with Trump and his businesses, but the hotel raises quite a few questions.

Blocks from the White House, the hotel was quickly booked with foreign diplomats after the election, the Washington Post reported. The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution bans presidents from taking payments from foreign governments, President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter told Politico in a Nov. 29 report. The consensus among ethics lawyers is that while the luxury hotel presents a clear conflict of interest, it would be challenging or impossible to force Trump to sell it.

Read the whole script in the shared document tweeted by Willimon.