Pacific Northwest hotel tycoon Gordon Sondland last year insisted that he was not a supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
After Sondland was listed as a sponsor for a Trump fundraiser in Seattle last August, a spokesperson for the Hotel deLuxe owner told WW that it was all a mistake and that Sondland disavowed Trump's constantly evolving positions" that "diverge[d] from [his] personal beliefs and values on so many levels."
A story today by the investigative news site The Intercept suggests that Sondland had a change of heart on Trump—or never really withdrew his support for the candidate in the first place. According to Intercept reporter Lee Fang, Sondland donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee using four limited liability companies to cover his tracks.
Fang writes that Sondland's covert donations were first noted on Twitter by the Center for Responsive Politics and Huffington Post reporter Christina Wilkie. The companies involved—BV-2 LLC, Dunson Cornerstone LLC, Buena Vista Investments LLC, and Dunson Investments LLC—were all reportedly associated with the address of one of Sondland's homes.
Sondland's spokesperson, Kate Buska today, responded to The Intercept with "no comment." She and Sondland did not immediately respond to an email from WW also requesting comment on the story.
In addition to the deLuxe, Sondland's Provenance Hotels chain owns stakes in three other downtown Portland hotels: the Lucia, Sentinel and Westin. Sondland now lives "mostly" in Seattle, as WW reported last year, and in addition to the Trump campaign has networked closely with top Democratic Party politicians in Oregon.