The Trump family has hired the real estate company JLL Hotels & Hospitality to help look for potential buyers of the hotel. But it did not address questions on Friday about why the family choose now to try to sell the hotel, or if it reflected any financial pressure on the Trump Organization, whose many other business operations have declined during Mr. Trump’s tenure in the White House.
Before the Trump Organization can sell, the deal will need to pass muster with the company’s outside ethics adviser, Bobby Burchfield, who is a lawyer in Washington.
Under an ethics plan adopted when Mr. Trump became president, Mr. Burchfield must verify that the deal is not unusually favorable to the Trumps — the price must reflect a “fair market value”— and that the buyer is not seeking to gain favor with the Trump administration, among other tests. The buyer cannot be a foreign official or sovereign wealth fund, but foreign citizens are not automatically prohibited from buying the hotel.
On Monday, the president addressed the loss of business at some of his family resorts, such as the Trump National Doral near Miami, which he had proposed, and then backed away from offering, as a site for the 2020 gathering of the Group of 7 world leaders.
“All of a sudden, people — some people — didn’t like it,” Mr. Trump said as he pointed to declines in sales at the Doral. “They thought the rhetoric was too tough, and it went from doing great to doing fine. It does very nicely now.“
Speaking more broadly about the effect of the presidency on his family businesses, he said: “Now instead of getting 100 percent of the market that loves you, and they love your brand, and it’s luxury and it’s great, now you have 50 percent of the market. That’s called politics. I fully understood that.”
The White House declined to comment on Friday on the announcement.
Even a possible sale of the hotel is likely to create questions for Mr. Trump and his family, ethics lawyers said, as any buyer could pay perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.