Trump Backtracks on Decision to Host G-7 Meeting at His National Doral Resort

Trump Backtracks on Decision to Host G-7 Meeting at His National Doral Resort


via newsapi.org

President Trump said next year’s G-7 meeting would no longer take place at his Trump National Doral resort in Miami.


Photo:

michele eve sandberg/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—President

Trump

reversed a decision he had made days earlier to hold next year’s Group of Seven summit at his luxury golf resort near Miami, citing scrutiny by Democrats and the media.

The decision to hold the conference at the Trump National Doral Miami, announced by his acting chief of staff

Mick Mulvaney

on Thursday, sparked widespread concern—also expressed by Republicans—that Mr. Trump was looking to personally profit from the presidency.

“Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter late Saturday. “We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”

Mr. Trump said in August that his golf resort is an ideal location for the next summit, which the U.S. is hosting next year as part of an annual rotation among member states. Mr. Trump also pushed back on suggestions that he was trying to profit from the presidency, saying without supporting evidence that he was losing billions of dollars by being president, and pitched the merits of the Miami facility.

The summit is scheduled to take place from June 10-12, 2020.

Mr. Mulvaney said Thursday that he had initially been personally skeptical of holding the summit in Doral, recognizing “the political criticism we’d come under.” But he said the advance team scouted nearly a dozen locations and decided the Doral was the perfect location.

Mr. Mulvaney added that the White House determined it was “millions of dollars cheaper” to hold the G-7 at Doral over other locations that were considered for the summit.

In an earlier tweet, Mr. Trump said he was “willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA,” but said that the media and Democrats “went CRAZY!”

Overall, from 2015 to 2017, the club’s revenue fell from $92 million to $75 million—an 18% drop.

France hosted this year’s summit in August in the Basque coastal town of Biarritz.

Mr. Trump’s suggestion of hosting the summit at his Doral resort drew instant criticism from Democrats as well as ethics watchdogs, who said holding the gathering at a Trump-owned property was inappropriate and potentially illegal. The president has routinely faced criticism for blurring the lines between his business and his presidency, and Democrats have accused him of violating a constitutional provision barring officeholders from accepting money from foreign governments.

Write toVivian Salama at[email protected]

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