White House shies away from locking in Trump resort for G7
Donald Trump and the White House Twitter account indicated that the US would be hosting the next G7 summit at the President’s resort in Miami earlier this week. But there are signs of easing up on that certainty.
The White House may remove a tweet indicating he’s solidified his Florida property as the next meeting location because the White House has not finalized its plans, a White House official told CNN on Wednesday.
“President @realDonaldTrump shares the location of the next @G7 summit, hosted by the United States!” the tweet read.
An attached video — viewed more than 1.8 million times by Wednesday afternoon — shows Trump talking to reporters at a news conference about Doral at the G7 summit in France.
Trump told reporters of the selection: “My people wanted it.”
“They went to places all over the country and they came back and they said this is where we’d like to be,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about getting the right location. I think it’s very important,” Trump had said.
But an official said of the tweet locking in Doral’s selection: “I don’t know if that’s gonna stay up forever.”
That’s because the administration has not made a final determination for the next summit’s location.
Doral remains a strong contender for the summit, a separate official said, insisting it has the best facilities of all the sites under consideration. But sites in other states have also been assessed by administration travel teams for the next summit including properties in Michigan, Colorado, California and Hawaii. Doral is the only Trump property being considered, an official said.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement on Wednesday that the committee would be requesting White House documents scheduling September meetings to investigate the legality of a G7 at Doral.
“Hosting the G7 Summit at Doral implicates both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, because it would entail both foreign and U.S. government spending to benefit the President, the latter potentially including both federal and state expenditures. More importantly, the Doral decision reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to pay President Trump’s private businesses in order to conduct business with the United States,” Nadler said.
Former White House Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub told CNN’s “OutFront” Monday evening that holding the meeting at Doral would be a conflict of interest.
“This is a conflict of interest because he’s going to benefit by the outcome of this. In fact, if he was any federal employee other than the president of the United States, it would be a crime for him to be involved in this activity,” Shaub said. “He’s exempt from the criminal conflict of interest law but that wasn’t intended as a perk of high office and it was expected that he would act as though he were covered by it.”
But Trump said during his Monday news conference that he doesn’t care about making money off the summit or building his personal brand.
“From my standpoint I’m not going to make any money. In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money. I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money,” Trump said.
CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.