G7 coming to Florida, U.S. announces 2020 summit will be held at President’s Doral resort
By Michael Wilner and Francesca Chambers
McClatchy Washington Bureau
The next Group of Seven summit of world leaders will take place at President Donald Trump’s resort at Doral, Fla., June 10-12 during the homestretch of the 2020 presidential campaign, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Thursday, dismissing concerns from House Democrats that the move will violate the Constitution.
Trump previewed the decision during the last G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, in August. “Having it in Miami is fantastic,” Trump said. “Each country can have their own villa, or their own bungalow.”
White House officials tout the location for its proximity to Miami International Airport, about a nine-mile drive from the hotel.
But selecting one of his own properties to host the international summit has caused consternation among Democratic lawmakers, who see the move as yet another violation of the emoluments clause, a provision in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits politicians from accepting “present, emolument, office or title of any kind” from foreign states while in office.
Foreign leaders have attempted to curry favor with the administration by staying at Trump properties. Over the summer, Vice President Mike Pence faced criticism for staying hours away from the location of meetings in Dublin, Ireland, at a Trump hotel, and the president came under scrutiny as reports emerged that U.S. Air Force crews had been staying at a Trump property during stopovers in Scotland.
Hosting the 2020 G-7 summit at Trump National Doral could intensify Democrats’ concerns.
“The Doral situation reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to spend foreign government funds at President Trump’s private businesses in order to engage in official diplomatic negotiations and meetings with the United States,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Constitution subcommittee chair Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., wrote in a letter to the White House in September.
Trump says he authorized a nationwide search before landing on one of his properties.
“They went to places all over the country and they came back and said, ‘This is where we’d like to be,’” Trump said in France. “It’s not about me. It’s about getting the right location.”
Hosting the G-7 summit for leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States would make Miami the epicenter of global politics next summer. Trump has said he would like Russia to be invited back to the summit following the country’s ouster in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea.
(Alex Daugherty and David Smiley contributed to this report.)
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