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In lengthy public comments at a Cabinet meeting on Monday, President Trump railed against media criticism of his decision — which he has since walked back — to hold next year's G7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.

"I don't know if you know it — George Washington, he ran his business simultaneously while he was president. There weren't too many really rich presidents, but there were a few. They ran their business. Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business? I'm sure he didn't even discuss it while he was president. Yeah, yeah. He has a deal with Netflix. When did they start talking about that? That's only a couple of examples. ... I don't think you people with this phony emoluments clause — and by the way, I would say that it's cost me anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion to be president. And that's OK.

Why it matters: Throughout his presidency, Trump has faced allegations that he and his family have abused the office of the presidency to enrich themselves. His G7 decision drew bipartisan scrutiny at a time when Trump needs Republicans in Congress to remain loyal as he weathers an impeachment inquiry.

Reality check: The emoluments clause of the Constitution is not "phony."

  • It states: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
  • In December, a federal appeals court in Virginia will hear an emoluments case brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia that alleges Trump has profited from the presidency with the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Trump's claim on Monday that the presidency has cost him anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion is impossible to verify because he has not followed the modern presidential tradition of releasing his tax returns.

Go deeper: Mulvaney says Trump was "honestly surprised" at level of backlash over G7 decision

Go deeper

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New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

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Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.