- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 19, 2019

President Trump late Saturday said the U.S. will no longer plan to host the 2020 Group of Seven meetings at his Florida resort.

In a series of Twitter posts, Mr. Trump blamed bad press and his political rivals instead of the predictable blowback to awarding a public contract to his own business.

“As usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!” he wrote. “We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!”

Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, announced Thursday the decision to hold the G-7 at Doral, saying White House planners scouted about a dozen sites but that Trump National Doral Miami was “far and away” the best facility.

The decision prompted immediate ethical concerns.

Mr. Trump has maintained ownership of his business empire after becoming president, though he turned over day-to-day operations to his children.

Investigations by press outlets have found foreign governments have poured money into his properties since he took office. Those sorts of moves had spawned lawsuits arguing the payments were emoluments, violating the Constitution’s prohibition on profiting from the presidency.

Some of Mr. Trump’s Republican allies said it was difficult to defend the Doral decision and that it came at a politically sensitive time for the president, who is fending off an impeachment inquiry over Ukraine and widespread criticism over his decision to pull troops from the Turkish-Syrian border.

A few Republicans did go out on a limb for the president. Both of Florida’s senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, said it would be good for their state’s economy, only to see Mr. Trump walk back the idea.

Mr. Trump said he planned to host the G-7 “at cost,” though his resort would have gotten exposure — a free ad, essentially — from hosting foreign powers at his business.

Even in pulling back from Doral, the president got in one last promotion.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,” he wrote. “It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide