US & Canada

Trump abandons plan to host G7 summit at his golf course

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Media captionChief of staff announced the plan on Thursday: "That's not the craziest idea we've ever heard"

US President Donald Trump has abandoned plans to host next year's G7 summit at one of his resorts in Florida after bipartisan criticism.

In a series of late tweets, Mr Trump said he was reversing the idea because of "crazed and irrational hostility" by Democrats and the media.

Critics said the plan was evidence of Mr Trump using the office for personal gain, which the White House denied.

Mr Trump said the presidential retreat at Camp David could host the G7 summit.

The decision to use Trump National Doral Miami, announced on Thursday, was condemned by Congressional lawmakers, including some of the president's Republican allies.

In one of his tweets, Mr Trump said his resort was "big, grand" with "tremendous ballrooms [and] meeting rooms".

"I thought I was doing something very good for our country by using Trump National Doral," he said. "But, as usual, the hostile media [and] their democrat partners went CRAZY!"

When White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney originally announced the Miami location, he said the resort would be made available "at cost" and would save millions of dollars.

However, critics pointed out the resort would stand to gain publicity from the allocation.

What is the Trump National Doral?

  • The 800-acre resort boasts five golf courses, 700 hotel rooms, a spa, conference rooms and shops
  • Located about eight miles (13 km) from Miami's airport, the property was acquired by Mr Trump out of bankruptcy in 2012
  • According to its website, the Doral has several ballrooms, including one named after the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump
  • The Miami Herald reported in May that the Doral had been "severely under-performing"

Mr Mulvaney had also denied hosting the summit would breach the Emoluments Clause of the US constitution, which prohibits any "profit, gain, or advantage" from foreign governments without congressional approval.

But watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, accused the president of "using the power of his office to help prop up his struggling golf business."

The House of Representatives had been expected to vote next week on a resolution condemning the decision. Democrats also planned to require the White House to present information to justify why the administration decided on Doral.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was among those who suggested the decision violated the constitution.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump hosted the 2015 Miss Universe competition at the Doral

Last month, the US Air Force (USAF) ordered a review of its accommodation after it emerged some personnel had been staying at one of President Trump's Scottish golf resorts.

The G7 (Group of Seven) meeting, between Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the US plus the EU, will take place between 10 and 12 June next year.

The summit was held at the presidential retreat of Camp David in Maryland, some 60 miles from Washington, in 2012, when it was hosted by then-President Barack Obama.

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