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Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash

President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE on Saturday said he would no longer host next year's Group of Seven (G-7) summit at his Doral resort after intense backlash from Democrats, ethics watchdogs and some Republican lawmakers.

The reversal came two days after the White House announced that Trump National Doral near Miami would host the gathering of world leaders next June. The decision was widely panned by critics who viewed it as a brazen move for the president to enrich his family brand.

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Trump tweeted Sunday night, "Thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders," boasting of the property's proximity to major airports and its physical spaces.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

About 35 minutes later, Trump followed up with a tweet announcing the venue would be changed.

"Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020," Trump tweeted. "We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!"
 

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief MORE announced during a briefing on Thursday that Doral would host the G-7 summit next June. He said the Trump family property was chosen after White House teams scouted a dozen properties as potential sites.

Mulvaney downplayed questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest for the president, insisting that there would be no profit and that the resort was "far and away the best choice."

"I get the criticisms. So does [Trump]… but no, there’s no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form," Mulvaney said. "If you think it's going to help his brand, that's great, but I would suggest that he doesn't need much help promoting his brand."

Trump was the one who encouraged Doral be considered, Mulvaney said, which further inflamed criticism.

The announcement immediately drew backlash. Critics viewed it as a blatant violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments.

Democrats quickly sought details of the contract for Doral, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pledged to add the use of the Trump property for the G-7 to an ongoing Emoluments Clause lawsuit against the president.

"This is corruption, plain and simple," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm Becerra says he wants to 'build on' ObamaCare when pressed on Medicare for All MORE (D-Mass.), a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"The Constitution is clear: the President cannot accept gifts or payments from foreign governments. No one is above the law," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted.

Even some Republicans expressed unease over the decision.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiWashington Post denounces abuse of reporter Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Mean tweets may take down Biden nominee MORE (R-Alaska) told reporters it was not appropriate for Trump to host the G-7 at his own property.

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellUnnamed law enforcement banned under the new NDAA Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting Juan Williams: The GOP's betrayal of America MORE (R-Mich.), who is retiring at the end of his term, told The Washington Post he felt the decision "just further fans the flames that the Democrats have been ranting about.”

The Doral decision also exacerbated an already difficult week in the White House. Multiple current and former administration officials have cooperated with House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry into the president, and Republicans have come out in force to criticize Trump over his foreign policy in Syria.

Two of the most damaging revelations came during Mulvaney's Thursday presser: That Doral would host the G-7 and the admission that aid for Ukraine was tied to an investigation into Democrats involved in the 2016 election lead-up. Both have since been undercut or reversed over the course of 60 hours as the White House seeks to do damage control.

In another contradiction of Mulvaney, Trump floated Camp David as a potential new host site. The Maryland retreat hosted the last G-7 in the United States in 2012, though Mulvaney told reporters Thursday that he heard those involved in that event "thought it was a miserable place to have the G-7."

Mulvaney said the White House had considered a dozen sites, which included spots in California, Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

The final four sites included Doral, two spots in Utah and one in Hawaii, according to Mulvaney.