Thursday, October 17, 2019

Despite ethics violation, Trump will hold upcoming G7 Summit at his own personal Florida golf course

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 1:39 PM

  • Photo via Steve Jurvetson/Flickr
Update, 3:45 p.m. | Gov. Ron DeSantis, predictably, has tweeted his support for the location.

Today, the White House announced that the president will publicly host the next G7 Summit at his own private resort and golf course in Florida, which will certainly result in yet another blatant ethics violation.

The afternoon White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed to reporters that the 2020 G7 Summit, a meeting of the seven most economically powerful countries in the world, will be located at Trump National Doral Miami resort.

Historically, these meetings have been held at less ethically-challenged locations. Back in 2012, then-President Barack Obama hosted the summit at Camp David, Maryland, and in 2004, George W. Bush’s get together was at Sea Island, Georgia.

RELATED: Trump's Facebook ads are targeting Florida more than any other state

But Trump has publicly considered moving the G7 Summit to his own personal golf course for months. “We have a series of magnificent buildings ... very luxurious rooms,” Trump told reporters last August. “We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it’s like — it’s like such a natural.”

Of course, inviting leaders of the most powerful economies to directly put money in the pocket of a sitting U.S. president hasn’t gone over well with ethics experts, and, most importantly, it's a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans gifts from foreign governments.

“It’s ethics violation squared,” said Kathleen Clark of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis to the Associated Press.

All of this should make sense when you consider the resort has been struggling over the last few years. As the Daily Beast pointed out, revenue at the resort dropped 18 percent from 2015 to 2017, and net operating income fell 69 percent.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is thrilled that the G7 is moving to Florida.
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