(Bloomberg) -- As he made the rounds of Washington to convince the Trump administration that his company should be permitted to buy Sprint Corp., T-Mobile US Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Legere chose the logical place to stay: the Trump International Hotel.
Twitter users posted pictures of Legere mugging with other visitors in the lobby of the hotel, which has become the place to stay for people currying favor with the government.
“It’s indicative of businesses’ approach to Washington, which is very pragmatic: I’ve got this deal I want to cut, and if I have to stay in the Trump hotel, I’ll do it,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director at Issue One, a policy group that promotes transparency and disclosure.
A person familiar with the executive’s itinerary, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Legere was staying at the hotel this week.
That’s a big change from 2015, before Trump was elected. Legere angrily checked out of Trump’s New York hotel amid a public spat over the quality of their respective companies’ service.
“T-Mobile service is terrible! Why can’t you do something to improve it for your customers,” Trump said in a tweet directed at Legere in April 2015. “I don’t want it in my buildings.”
Legere shot back, also on Twitter, “I will serve all customers in the USA openly but I will obviously leave your hotel right away based on this.”
The next day, after switching lodgings, Legere tweeted,“I am so happy to wake up in a hotel where every single item isn’t labeled ‘Trump’ and all the books and TV is about him.”
Trump’s Washington hotel, which one of his companies leases from the federal government, has been a focus of criticism because the president is essentially on both sides of the lease. Ethicists and liberal groups have said people might patronize the hotel to try to win favor with the president.
Legere’s proposed $26.5 billion tie-up of the third- and fourth-largest U.S. mobile providers needs to clear antitrust and communications regulators, who may be concerned over a reduction of competition in a wireless market dominated by four providers.
Legere said on CNBC earlier this week that he was “gonna be in the White House” during the swing through Washington. The CEO, who is known for his flowing locks and magenta T-shirts, said he’d stop there as part of a Washington tour to “to talk to everybody who would love to hear the details.”
The Trump Organization didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting comment on whether Legere is staying at the Trump Hotel.
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