Brushing aside questions about the ethics of hosting the G-7 summit at one of President Donald Trump's own golf properties, the White House announced Thursday that the 2020 meeting of the G-7 will take place at the President's Doral resort in Miami, Florida.
“Doral was by far and away - far and away - the best physical facility for this meeting,” said Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Pressed repeatedly by reporters in a rare Q&A in the White House Briefing Room, Mulvaney gave the back of the hand to any ethical concerns.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announces G-7 Summit in June will be held at Trump National Doral facility in Miami, Florida. "Doral was by far and away, far and away, the best physical facility for this meeting."— CSPAN (@cspan) October 17, 2019
Full video here: https://t.co/Lr8ybOBcXe pic.twitter.com/5TzUDGDAL7
Democrats in Congress said the decision just screamed self-dealing by the President.
“This is corruption in the open,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
“Corruption in plain sight is still corruption,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).
“Unbelievably brazen. Taxpayer and foreign money funneled right to his own club as a result of a decision he is making as President,” tweeted Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY).
“This is just open corruption,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ).
.@POTUS's decision to host the G-7 summit at his resort is another outrageous act of self-dealing & almost certainly a violation of the Constitution's emoluments clauses. It is shameful that he is working to profit from his Presidency and putting his own self-interest first.— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) October 17, 2019
Mulvaney notes during press conference that Trump “is the most recognizable name in the English language, if not the world.” https://t.co/cG3ULdJU99— Patricia Murphy (@1PatriciaMurphy) October 17, 2019
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defends the decision to hold next year's G-7 Summit at the president's Trump National Doral Miami resort when there other options: "It's not the only place, it's the best place" https://t.co/0MecZPxpKB pic.twitter.com/InasMrXSIB— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 17, 2019
“Congress should block any taxpayer money from going to G7 while it's at Trump's resort,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH).
“This is a textbook case of unconstitutional conduct,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
“By holding G7 summit at his own resort, the President is using his office to enrich himself,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL).
“This is corruption, plain and simple,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is running for President.
Outside ethics watchdog groups chimed in immediately.
“By treating the G7 summit like a commercial for his businesses, inviting foreign governments to line his pockets and hold their next meeting at his Doral, FL golf course next year, he mocks the Constitution he swore to uphold,” said Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra.