G7 backflip: Trump says his Florida resort will no longer host summit
President Trump announced on Twitter Saturday night that he would no longer host next year's G7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami, but doubled down on defending the decision amid bipartisan backlash.
"I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. 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. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!"
Why it matters: Throughout his presidency, Trump has faced allegations that he is using his office to enrich his own business.
- The Trump National Doral Miami resort has struggled financially since the president took office, with its net operating income falling 69% over the past two years.
- Trump claimed he wouldn't "profit" from the G7, but as journalist Yashar Ali points out, the president doesn't acknowledge how a "major global event like the G7 would give his resort lots of free advertising and would likely drive up business."
The big picture: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Thursday that the Trump National Doral Miami resort would be hosting next year's G7 summit amid an impeachment inquiry sparked by allegations that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden over conflicts of interest.
- The House Judiciary Committee had been looking into the president's plans to host the summit at Doral for some time as part of its ongoing investigations of Trump.
What they're saying: The Doral decision was met with criticism from some Republicans, including Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who told the Washington Post the G7 decision was "politically insensitive." "They should have known what the kickback is going to be on this, that politically he’s doing it for his own benefit," he said.
- Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who's criticized Trump for his Syria policy and allegations concerning the president and Ukraine, called the G7 decision "a very unusual site selection," per Reuters.
- After the G7 announcement, the conservative anti-Trump group Republicans for the Rule of Law "released an ad accusing Trump of using his office for personal enrichment," Reuters notes.
Go deeper: Trump made at least $434 million from his business in 2018
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.