Original article published on Boston Herald by Lisa Kashinsky available here
President Trump will host next year’s Group of Seven economic summit at his Miami golf resort, the Trump National Doral, the White House announced Thursday.
“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. “It’s not the only place. It’s the best place.”
Trump had suggested the resort as a potential host for next year’s meeting at this year’s G-7 summit in France due to its expansive grounds, three golf courses and proximity to the airport.
Mulvaney said a dozen potential sites were narrowed to a list of four finalists before the Doral was selected.
But critics, largely Democrats, slammed the administration for awarding the G-7 to the president’s own business — which has reportedly been struggling for years.
Trump is already facing lawsuits that accuse him of violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bans the president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments. And Trump has repeatedly attacked Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden by claiming his family profited from public office because of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
Biden was one of several Democratic presidential hopefuls to knock the announcement, saying on Twitter, “Hosting a major foreign leader summit at a Trump hotel? Donald Trump continues to abuse his power to line his own pockets.”
Others, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, condemned the selection as corrupt.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is challenging Trump in the Republican primary, tweeted, “Between awarding the G-7 Summit to his own hotel & his acting chief of staff’s “Get over it” admission that @realDonaldTrump withheld funds from Ukraine for his own political purposes, we have a POTUS wearing his abuses of power on his sleeve and daring us to stop him.”
Republican strategist Patrick Griffin called the decision “unconscionable.”
“He has absolutely no scruples and absolutely no sense of consciousness,” Griffin said. “He doesn’t get it. He’s tone deaf. And frankly, he doesn’t care. It’s not that he doesn’t get it — it’s that he doesn’t care to get it.”
Democratic strategist Tony Cignoli said, “To do it now, to come out with this now with everything else that’s going on with impeachment inquiry and Ukraine, seems to be politically tone-deaf.”
Mulvaney said the resort was chosen for its location and amenities, and that Trump would not profit because the venue would be booked “at cost.”
But Cignoli said all of the news reports and social media posts that will emerge from the summit are just “free advertisements” for Trump’s businesses.
— Herald wire services contributed to this report.