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Trump: Keep money for new FBI building in coronavirus relief bill

CGTN Published: 2020-07-30 10:47:46

President Trump said money for a new FBI building near his Washington, D.C. hotel should be included in the GOP’s coronavirus relief bill.

“We have that in the bill, it should stay,” Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House Wednesday.

A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C. [File Photo: AFP]

A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C. [File Photo: AFP]

Plans to move FBI headquarters to a new location have been in development for years. The choices had been narrowed to three locations in suburban Washington, D.C. — two of them in Maryland and one in Northern Virginia.

Trump prefers FBI headquarters to remain close to its present location, which is “near his Washington, D.C. hotel,” The Washington Times noted. He suggested one option would be renovating the FBI’s existing building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The bill was tabled this week to immediate opposition from GOP senators, who questioned whether funds for a new FBI building belong in the coronavirus relief bill.

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and other Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the Trump administration’s proposal to include $1.75 billion for a new FBI building in the coronavirus relief bill.

Democrats alleged the move is intended to protect the Trump International Hotel. The current FBI building is nearby.

“They [the Republicans] didn’t have money for food stamps, but they had money for an FBI building just so that they can diminish competition for the president’s hotel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters.

White House officials deny Trump’s business interests are connected to the president’s efforts to keep FBI headquarter in the city.

After the cancellation of plans to build a new FBI campus in the suburbs, Justice Department inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, opened an investigation into the decision to scrap those plans.

More than a year later that investigation is still underway.

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