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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

DOJ seizes 36 U.S. website domains for Iranian government disinformation

Iran's President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

American officials seized 36 news website domains linked to Iran's government for spreading disinformation as part of a propaganda campaign, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The action comes at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Iran's hardline President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday ruling out negotiating over missiles or meeting with President Biden as the two nations hold talks on returning Tehran to the 2015 nuclear deal.

NYT: Khashoggi's killers had paramilitary training in U.S.

A vigil for journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, following his killing in 2018 in Turkey. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Several Saudis who took part in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi had paramilitary training in the U.S. under a State Department contract a year before his 2018 death, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the department knew that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sanctioned Saudi officials to detain, kidnap and torture dissidents in 2017, the approval of such training underscores how "intensely intertwined" the U.S. has become with a nation known for human rights abuses, per the NYT.

U.S. attorney finalist trashes Labor secretary

Rachael Rollins and Marty Walsh. Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images (Rollins); Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images (Walsh)

A finalist for U.S. attorney in Boston is publicly trashing the city's former mayor — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Why it matters: Rachael Rollins’ approach is perpetuating scrutiny of a troubled Cabinet secretary and fellow Democrat — and hints at the independence she may exhibit if tapped for top federal prosecutor for the eastern half of Massachusetts.