WASHINGTON D.C., Oct 20, 2019, Reuters. US President Donald Trump abandoned plans late on Saturday (Oct 19) to host next year’s Group of Seven summit at his Florida golf resort, after Democrats and others had decried the selection as evidence of the President misusing his office for personal gain, reported The Straits Times.
In a series of tweets, Mr Trump said he would drop the plan announced on Thursday by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to host the meeting at Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami from June 10 to 12.
Mr Trump cited what he termed “Crazed and Irrational Hostility” from Democrats and the news media in explaining the reversal.
“We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately,” he wrote.
The Republican President faces criticism and a number of congressional investigations over his finances and potential conflicts of interest stemming from his real estate business, which he still owns, and an impeachment inquiry into accusations that he pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine.
On Saturday, Mr Trump sought to emphasise what he said were the site’s positive features for hosting a large gathering.
“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country,” he wrote on Twitter.
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…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2019
The US Constitution’s emoluments clause prohibits government officials from receiving salaries, fees or profits from foreign and domestic governments without congressional approval.
Democrats have said they would investigate Mr Trump’s plan to host the G-7 at his property after he floated the idea in August.
In a statement on Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler called the announcement “among the most brazen examples yet of the President’s corruption”.
Mr Nadler said the committee would continue investigating “regarding these matters”.
The announcement prompted requests from Democrats for detailed records from the White House to explain why other 11 other sites were not chosen and how much taxpayers would pay.
In May, the Washington Post reported Doral’s operating income had fallen 69 per cent since 2015, citing company documents that it reviewed.
Then President Barack Obama held the 2012 G-8 summit at Camp David, which is in Maryland, about 100km north-west of Washington.