- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump officially opened the Trump International Hotel, located less than a mile from the White House, Wednesday morning, less than two weeks before the election.

Worldwide media outlets were on hand to watch Mr. Trump cut the red ribbon at the property, located in the District’s Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr. Trump was joined at the podium by his children Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr.

“It’s appropriate that I would use the word welcome,” said Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danzinger said at the outset. “This is the business of hospitality. As amazing as this building is [are] the people inside our building that bring our building and brand to life.”

Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of acquisitions for the organization, said it had been an “unforgettable year” for her family, not just from a political but business standpoint.

“We have celebrated many milestones this year, but the one that gathers us here today is incredibly special,” Ms. Trump said of the redevelopment of the iconic property.

She said that time has had its way with Pennsylvania Ave., and added that Ms. Trump and her father beat out other developers to revive the iconic address.

“One of the reasons I love real estate is that there exists a tangible result,” she said. “My father trained me to see things not as they are but what they can be.”

The clock tower, the second-tallest structure in Washington after the Monument, still houses the bells of Congress, a key element that was kept for the new property.

She also touched on the firestorm that has followed the Republican in this rather unusual campaign season.

“One of the most telling signs of my father’s side is the thousands of people who have worked with him … and still stand by him,” Ms. Trump said.

Ms. Trump thanked Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting member of Congress, for continually pushing for the redevelopment of the property.

“When we said two years ago that Trump would be coming to Pennsylvania Avenue, we had no idea” how history would play out, she said to a laugh from the crowd.

Mr. Trump then took to the dais, saying he was very proud of his company and said he has a busy day ahead of him.

“With the exception of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this is the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Trump said, touting the project came in under budget and ahead of s schedule.

“You don’t hear those words in government too often, but you will,” the GOP candidate said. “Just about everything our government touches is broken. Simply nothing works.”

He took to task veterans’ programs, education and infrastructure especially for failing Americans — and said that Obamacare is in “free fall.”

“The American people know what This election is about, and they see it every time they get their health care bills or go to an airport that looks like a Third World country,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump said his wizardry with the Old Post Office presages what he can do as president.

“I’ve been very lucky and I’ve had a great life, now I want to give back to the country that has been so good to me,” he said, adding he will solve the problems of America’s inner cities.

“The time is now,” he said. “There is nothing we cannot accomplish. The United States is great.

“I’m asking American to dream big and bold with me,” he said. “Let’s open a new era of prosperity for all our people. That is how we will truly make America great again.”

Protesters outside the renovated property held signs and publicly decried the New York billionaire for his various comments on immigration. One sign read “Immigrants & Muslims welcome here; Trump Hotel is NOT!”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, said in the lobby of the hotel he still believes Mr. Trump is the right person for the top job in the land.

“We need to be able to get things done on time and under budget. We don’t have any money to waste in this country,” Mr. Sessions said amid a gaggle of reporters.

“Nobody has worked harder than Donald Trump,” Mr. Sessions said. “He dwarfs the capacity of Hillary Clinton.”

Mr. Trump is scheduled to attend a rally Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, at 4 p.m. and another in Kingston, North Carolina, at 7 p.m.

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