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US wine bar files lawsuit against Trump hotel

Tension is rising beyond the political chambers of Washington DC after a wine bar said that it was suing a Trump hotel in the city over loss of business - a move dismissed as a publicity stunt by the hotel's lawyers.

Owners of Washington DC’s Cork Wine Bar, Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts, have said that they intend to sue the Trump International Hotel in the city’s Old Post Office Pavilion, as well as president Donald Trump himself.

A website set up by the bar owners said that the lawsuit was ‘pending’ in the US District of Columbia (10 March).

They claim that Donald Trump has remained affiliated with the hotel since becoming president of the US and that this has caused other restaurants and bars in the city to lose money.

A lawyer for the Trump Organisation, Alan Garten, was quoted by the Guardian and other newspapers as saying that the lawsuit was a ‘wild publicity stunt’ and completely lacked merit.

Rather than seek money, the wine bar owners have requested that Trump either resigns as president or that his family divest all financial interests in the hotel. Alternatively, the plaintiffs said, the hotel could opt to close while Trump is president.

They claimed that other restaurants, hotels and bars in Washington DC have lost business, because diplomats and lobbyists seeking to find favour with president Trump have started using the Trump hotel.

Donald Trump officially opened the hotel last year while on the presidential campaign trail.

In January, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that president Trump had resigned from the Trump Organisation.

Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, were now in charge, Spicer told a press briefing, as reported by Reuters.

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