- President Donald Trump on Monday suggested the next G7 summit would be hosted at his Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort.
- The hotel has reportedly been struggling financially since Trump became president.
- The US is poised to host the G7 in 2020, but if Trump’s property is the venue it could potentially be unconstitutional because he would stand to personally benefit from a meeting of world leaders.
- Trump has broken precedent with past presidents by maintaining ownership of his business empire, and has faced allegations of violating the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution.
- This clause bars public officials from receiving gifts or cash from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.
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President Donald Trump on Monday said he’s looking at hosting the next G7 at his Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort, which could raise major ethical and constitutional issues.
Trump said the hotel, which has reportedly been struggling financially due to the president’s tarnished brand, is a strong contender for the summit due to how close it is to the airport (it’s a roughly 20-25 minute drive).
“They love the location of the hotel,” Trump said during a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 in France.
“We haven’t found anything that’s even close to competing with it,” Trump added. “Really you can be there in a matter of minutes after you land.”
Trump also praised the location’s acres, separate buildings for different delegations, and “great” conference rooms, The Washington Post reported, but also said a final decision hasn’t been made on the venue.
Trump’s announcement about the potential venue for the next G7 came amid a rocky couple of days for the president at this year’s summit, in which he’s been at odds with US allies on an array of issues – including on whether to allow Russia to return to the annual meeting.
The US is poised to host the next G7. But if the summit takes place at Trump’s Florida property, it would mean he’d stand to personally benefit from one of the most important annual meetings of world leaders from the US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan.
Unlike past presidents who put their assets in a blind trust, Trump has maintained ownership of his business empire – which is currently run by his two eldest sons – and critics have accused him of violating the Constitution by profiting off the presidency.
The foreign-emoluments clause of the Constitution bars public officials from receiving gifts or cash from foreign or state governments without congressional approval. Trump’s DC hotel has been at the centre of several lawsuits alleging Trump has violated the Constitution along these lines and has major conflicts of interest.
As Insider previously reported:
- Trump made at least $US434 million in 2018, according to his annual financial disclosure, including $US40.8 million from his hotel that’s located less than a mile from the White House – Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
- A lobbying firm with ties to the Saudi government paid $US270,000 to Trump’s hotel in Washington between October 2016 and March 2017.
- Trump’s financial disclosure for 2018 also revealed he earned roughly $US22.7 million from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, a property where he’s hosted foreign leaders and which has come under scrutiny on a variety of issues.
And according to a recent analysis from The Washington Post, Trump’s routine visits to his properties as president have brought his private businesses at least $US1.6 million in revenue.
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