Rule of Law

Trump dumps plan to host G-7 at his golf course — blames media

Two days after the White House said that President Donald Trump had directed next year’s Group of Seven summit to be held at Trump National Doral Miami resort, the president tweeted late Saturday that no, actually, it will not.

Reverting to his usual nightly Twitter rants, Trump, in a series of late-night tweets on Saturday, blamed the “Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners,” for his abrupt reversal of the plan.

And even though Trump was quick to put the blame on the media and one political party, it was actually blistering criticism from across the political spectrum, including fellow Republicans, that fueled the outrage. However, it was a rare reversal for Trump – who does not like to admit mistakes.

There was outrage and anger over the use of government money that was to be spent at a resort owned by Trump’s own company — a violation, critics said, of legal restrictions against the president benefiting financially from the office.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

He said his administration “will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.” The Associated Press suggests this reversal of locations for the G-7 brings into question the position of the president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who held a news conference Thursday announcing the choice of Doral for the summit.

At the time, Mulvaney said the Doral site was “far and away the best physical facility,” and the determination was made “after visiting 10 sites across the country.” The initial list of about a dozen sites had been reduced to four finalists: one in Hawaii, two in Utah and Trump’s resort in Miami.

Sunday, on Fox News, Mulvaney claimed that Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback” after the Doral announcement. “At the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business,” Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.”

And as for Camp David – Mulvaney criticized Camp David as a potential host site on Thursday; noting that “they said it was a complete disaster” when a previous summit had been held there.

Bottom line? From the very beginning of his presidency, Trump has faced multiple ongoing lawsuits alleging he is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits a sitting president from accepting payments from foreign governments.

“President Trump’s behavior in office is a continuing affront to the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause,” Elizabeth Wydra, president of the ethics watchdog group Constitutional Accountability Center, told ABC News in a statement.

“By treating the G7 summit like a commercial for his businesses, inviting foreign governments to line his pockets and hold their next meeting at his Doral, FL golf course next year, he mocks the Constitution he swore to uphold.”