The Washington Post reported that the words "PAY TRUMP BRIBES HERE" appeared above the entrance to the building, along with an arrow pointing toward the entrance of the hotel.
The projections range from a somber display of the actual text of the Emoluments Clause to the more cheeky "Pay Trump Bribes Here" with an arrow, an "Emoluments Welcome" message paired with an "Open 24 Hour" sign, or a compilation of flags from Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, and Russian Federation.
While Bell's projections were only up for about 10 minutes before security guards covered his lens, onlookers were quick to document the images and send them viral online.
The artist first attracted attention back in 2015 for projecting animated poop emojis with the hashtag #JaredLies onto the outside of a Subway that was set to open in his Mount Pleasant neighborhood in DC.
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Since Trump's election and continued ownership of his stake in the project, the hotel has been dogged by criticism from ethics experts suggesting that he unfairly benefits financially from it.
The projections included "Pay Trump Bribes Here", "Emoluments Welcome", and the entire emoluments clause, which prohibits people who hold federal office from taking money from foreign governments.
"The timing was awesome because it gave us something to look at and enjoy", Bell said. "He said so much that they could figure it out". That demonstration traveled along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the hotel.
In January, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit claiming Trump violates the clause because he is accepting payments from foreign governments through his business empire. "We did it at the right time because everyone is just so utterly depressed and bummed out with what's going on". It didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Post said a passerby told a reporter a man had projected the words and images at about 9:30 p.m. local time.
In March, the GSA's contracting officer wrote to Eric Trump, the president's son, to say that the lease remained in full compliance, in part, because the president would not benefit from it financially until he left office. "It's for discussion, where community comes together", he said. Then he projected "100 days of pollution" to commemorate Trump's 100th day in office.