January 14, 2017
WASHINGTON — It's the great port-a-potty cover-up for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
Workers preparing for the inauguration Jan. 20 have taped over the name of the company — "Don's Johns" — that has long supplied portable restrooms for major outdoor events in the nation's capital.
Virginia-based Don's Johns calls itself the Washington area's top provider of portable toilet rentals. But the name apparently strikes too close to home for organizers of the inauguration of Donald John Trump.
Workers have placed blue tape over the company name on dozens of portable restrooms installed near the Capitol for the inauguration.
The company's name is clearly visible upon close inspection, but is blocked for a wide-angle view by a TV or still camera.
Robert Weghorst, chief operating officer for Don's Johns, said he did not know the logos were covered up until The Associated Press reported on it Friday, lighting up his company switchboard and "blowing up" its social media accounts.
"We don't know why it's being done. We didn't tell someone to do it," he said in a telephone interview. "We're proud to have our name on the units."
A spokesman for the Architect of the Capitol, which oversees the Capitol and its grounds, said the logos were being covered or removed to comply with Capitol grounds restrictions on advertising.
Staff determined that signs for Gene's Johns — a competitor that also is providing portable toilets for the inauguration — "can be easily peeled off," the spokesman said in an email. The Don's Johns logos cannot be removed easily "and are being covered with tape," the email said.
Don's Johns has provided portable toilets for many major events in Washington, including the 2009 and 2013 inauguration ceremonies for President Barack Obama, Weghorst said. No logos were taped over during those events, he said.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the Presidential Inaugural Committee declined to comment.