Oct 20, 2019

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

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump was "honestly surprised" at the level of pushback he received from the decision to choose his own Doral resort in Miami as the site of next year's G7 summit, which he walked back Saturday night.

"He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback. At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders around the world and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could. And he was very comfortable doing it at Doral. And I think we were all surprised at the level of pushback. I think it's the right decision to change. We'll have to find someplace else, and my guess is we'll find someplace else that the media won't like for another reason."

Why it matters: The announcement that Trump would host the G7 at his own property was followed by swift condemnation by Democrats and even some Republicans, with many claiming that the move would violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution. President Trump has faced allegations of abusing his office to enrich himself throughout his entire presidency.

  • The self-dealing could have inspired an extra article of impeachment, lawsuits, demands for forensic accounting, boycotts by world leaders, defections by Republicans and other consequences Trump can't afford.
  • Despite reversing himself, Trump doubled down on defending the decision as appropriate on Twitter Saturday night, blaming "Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility" for forcing him to reconsider.

Go deeper: Appeals court revives lawsuit against Trump for hotel profits

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G7 backflip: Trump says his Florida resort will no longer host summit

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

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!"
Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 20, 2019

Trump: "You people with this phony emoluments clause"

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.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Trump Organization considers sale of flagship D.C. hotel

Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Trump Organization is considering selling the rights to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Eric Trump, President Trump's son and an executive vice president of the family business, told the WSJ that the move is in part fueled by criticism surrounding the family profiting from the property during Trump's presidency.

Go deeperArrowOct 25, 2019