In the weeks and months after Nov. 8, Donald Trump’s door always seemed open. Old friends and celebrities walked in and out of his namesake tower in Manhattan or hobnobbed with him at his New Jersey golf course – and so did real estate executives. Howard Lorber, Jonathan Gray, Thomas Barrack, the Hinneberg family (owners of 40 Wall Street), and others landed meetings with the president-elect, soon to be the most powerful man in the world.
“Initially it seemed Trump was very willing to meet with people” one lobbyist told The Real Deal, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. “Someone actually made the comment to me that the president-elect met with more people than de Blasio in three years.”
Many real estate bigwigs may have believed they’d have similar access to the West Wing as they did at Trump Tower, and perhaps hoped to replicate the kind of sway they hold in Albany. When Greenberg Traurig publicly disclosed in January the institutions it is lobbying on behalf of Related Companies, the law firm, apart from naming the usual suspects of the Senate and House of Representatives, added the White House to its list for the first time since 2015.
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