Thu | Nov 14, 2019

US picks Trump resort for G-7 meeting, critics call choice ‘brazen’

Published:Friday | October 18, 2019 | 11:24 AM
This June 2, 2017 file frame from video shows the Trump National Doral in Doral, Florida. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s suggestion that his Miami golf resort host next year’s Group of Seven summit became a reality Thursday, sparking an outcry from critics who called it the most blatant example yet of him using the power of his office to boost his business empire.

“There are folks who will never get over the fact that it’s a Trump property, but we’re still going to go there,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in announcing Trump National Doral as host.

“It’s not the only place. It’s the best place.”

Mulvaney said the Doral was picked for its location and amenities, and the president will not profit because the resort will be booked “at cost.”

But the decision takes Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest to a new level because, unlike foreign dignitaries who can choose to stay at his Washington hotel, they will have no choice but to spend money at his resort during the June 10-12 summit.

“He is doubling down on his corruption,” said ethics lawyer Kathleen Clark of Washington University School of Law in St Louis.

“He’s daring anyone to prevent him from further enriching himself from the presidency.”

The decision comes as several lawsuits accuse Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans the president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments.

It also comes as Trump has repeatedly accused Joe Biden’s family of profiting from public office because of Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine when his father was vice president.

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