A History of the Mayflower Hotel in 5 Scandals

A History of the Mayflower Hotel in 5 Scandals
A History of the Mayflower Hotel in 5 Scandals

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied having a private meeting with Russian officials during an event at Washington, D.C.'s storied Mayflower Hotel in April 2016, despite reports that he met with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. The Republican's testimony comes as the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating allegations that the Russian government helped Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election and what role he had in the firing of James Comey as FBI director in the middle of a probe.

Sessions is just the latest high-profile politician to be suspected of engaging in professional misconduct at the landmark. Here, TIME recaps five of the most notable politicians who have made national headlines there.

Judith Campbell Exner, shown in an undated portrait, has been identified as a close friend of President John F. Kennedy and two underworld figures. She held a news conference Dec. 18, 1975 in San Diego to deny an assertion that she was the link with Mafia efforts to work with the Central Intelligence Agency on a Cuban assassination plot. AP

The Reported Second Home of an Alleged JFK Mistress

Mafia liaison Judith Exner, who claimed in People magazine in the 1980s that she had had an affair with President John F. Kennedy, is believed to have kept a room at the hotel.

D.C. Council Member Marion Barry gives a news conference in Washington D.C. on Aug. 2, 2010. Andrew Harnikz—AP

Marion S. Barry, Jr. Found Guilty of Possessing Crack

In 1990, a jury found the former mayor of the District of Columbia guilty of possessing cocaine at the Mayflower in the fall of 1989, and Barry served six months in prison. A year later, a federal sting operation famously caught him smoking a crack pipe with a former model Rasheeda Moore at the Vista, a different hotel in the city (now known as the Westin City Center).

Bill Clinton hugs Monica Lewinsky at the Democratic Fundraiser in Washington on Oct. 23, 1996. Dirck Halstead—Getty Images

Bill Clinton Hugs Monica Lewinsky

More than a year before the news outlets started reporting on the affair between Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton, the leader is seen embracing his former White House intern as he works a rope line at the hotel. She stayed at the hotel while the scandal unfolded, and stayed in the presidential suite while she filmed a deposition there, according to Keith McClinsey's biography Washington D.C.'s Mayflower Hotel.

New York State Gov. Eliot Spitzer is joined by his wife Silda Wall Spitzer as he makes a statement to reporters during a news conference Monday, March 10, 2008 in New York. Spitzer announced Wednesday, March 12, 2008, that he would resign effective March 17, completing a stunning fall from power after he was nationally disgraced by links to a high-priced prostitution ring.Mary Altaffer—ASSOCIATED PRESS

Eliot Spitzer's Meeting With a Prostitute

A March 10, 2008, a New York Times investigation revealed that the New York Governor was the "Client 9" who met Ashley Dupre of a high-profile prostitution ring known as The Emperor's Club in room 871 of the Mayflower. He resigned two days later, and no federal criminal charges were filed against him.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech about his vision for foreign policy at the Mayflower Hotel April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Campaign Speech

The real estate mogul gave a major speech on his vision for U.S. foreign policy during the 2016 presidential campaign at the hotel on April 27, 2016, in which he declared that "the horrible cycle of hostility must end" between Russia and the U.S. Today, the event is remembered more as a possible site for another pro-Russia statement, where Sessions and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner allegedly met with Kislyak, according to a conversation intercepted by American intelligence officials in which Kislyak is said to be discussing this private meeting.


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