WASHINGTON D.C. (Agencies) – Donald Trump abruptly reversed course and announced next year’s G7 economic summit of world powers will not be held at the “Trump National” in Doral, Florida, after facing bipartisan backlash.
Trump tweeted the major change just over 48 hours after the initial announcement: “We will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”
As usual, he called the rising criticism his administration was facing “Irrational Hostility” and wrote, “I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders.” To which, thousands of Americans used the social networks to ask him directly how using “Trump National Doral” in Miami was doing something very good for the country.
The White House of course, had been defending its decision to use Trump’s own property as the site for the G7 in the face of mounting outrage and disapproval. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham even told CNN that the Doral site would be “significantly cheaper” than other options.
Trump´s administration had argued the event would be run “at cost,” or without profit, by the Trump National property because of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which largely prohibits the President from accepting gifts and money from foreign governments.
Then again, it is not clear that simply avoiding a profit would keep the administration from running afoul of the emoluments clause. The administration also has not clarified the details of how it would determine what “at cost” would be.
Some members of the Republican party suggested did not seem happy with Trump´s suggestion such as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois who said he was “not happy about it.”
Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said: “President Trump’s decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation. It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration”.
Bookbinder said in a statement. “His reversal of that decision is a bow to reality, but does not change how astonishing it was that a president ever thought this was appropriate, or that it was something he could get away with.”
2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro were unimpressed by Trump’s decision to reverse course.
Mulvaney defended Trump
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defiantly addressed the concern that hosting the G7 there already creates profit by highlighting the resort, asking reporters to “consider the possibility that Donald Trump’s brand is already strong enough on its own.” Mulvaney told reporters it was Trump who brought up the idea of hosting the G7 at Doral.
Mulvaney also on Thursday bashed Camp David as a location for the international meeting, saying that it was “way too small” and a “miserable” place for the event — then known as the G8 — when it was held there in 2012.
The G7 reversal is yet another backtrack from Mulvaney’s White House press conference. Mulvaney, in a stunning admission, confirmed Trump froze nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats… A few hours later, he denied ever saying those words.
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