(CNN)Visitors to the Trump International Hotel in Washington were greeted with a provocative message Monday night: “Pay Trump bribes here.”
Artist and filmmaker Robin Bell said he projected those words onto the hotel’s facade from a van across the street, hoping to call attention to accusations that President Donald Trump is allowing foreign leaders to pay for access by staying at a Trump property just a few blocks from the White House.
“It’s a pretty clear cut example of impropriety,” Bell said in a phone interview. “This is not like politics as usual. The rules and the lines are being pushed so far and this seemed to be so clear to me.”
Bell also projected the text of the emoluments clause, which prohibits US officials from accepting foreign gifts, onto the hotel’s facade, alongside images of the Turkish and Russian flags.
The hotel quickly asked Bell to take the projection down.
The Trump Organization rents the space for the Trump International Hotel from the General Services Administration. Because the President oversees the GSA, Trump effectively became both landlord and tenant when he was sworn in.
The hotel has raised concerns for government ethics experts because guests, including foreign government officials, can try to ingratiate themselves with Trump and the US government by spending their money there.