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Trump abandons plan to host 2020 G7 meeting at his Florida golf resort

Source:Reuters Published: 2019/10/20 22:28:41

US President Donald Trump attends a joint press conference with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (not in the picture) at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 2, 2019. Photo:Xinhua



US President Donald Trump abandoned plans to host next year's Group of Seven summit at his Florida golf resort, after Democrats and others had decried the selection as evidence of the president misusing his office for personal gain.

In a series of tweets late on Saturday, Trump said he would drop the plan announced by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to host the meeting at Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami from June 10 to 12. 

Trump cited what he termed "Crazed and Irrational Hostility" from Democrats and the news media in explaining the reversal. "We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately," he wrote.

The Republican president faces criticism and a number of congressional investigations over his finances and potential conflicts of interest stemming from his real estate business, which he still owns, and an impeachment inquiry into accusations that he pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine.

On Saturday, Trump sought in his unusual reversal to emphasize what he said were the resort's positive features for hosting a large gathering. "I thought I was doing something very good for our Country," he wrote on Twitter.

The US constitution's emoluments clause prohibits government officials from receiving salaries, fees or profits from foreign and domestic governments without congressional approval.

Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said on Saturday the initial decision to award the event to a Trump property was "stunningly corrupt" but the "reversal shows that pressure works."

"The president deserves no plaudits for doing the right thing only after public outcry forced him not to do the wrong thing," it said.

Democrats have said they would investigate Trump's plan to host the G7 at his property after he floated the idea in August. The decision also sparked criticism from a number of Republicans.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler called the announcement "among the most brazen examples yet of the president's corruption." Nadler said the committee would continue investigating "regarding these matters."

Posted in: AMERICAS

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