President Donald Trump. File photo
It's not just President Donald Trump's foreign policy moves that are facing the heat. Even on the domestic front, he is encountering severe opposition. The billionaire politician, an avowed golfer, planned to tee off the next Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral golf resort in Florida next year. He backtracked after a backlash.
Facing charges that he was using the presidency to enrich himself by hosting the international summit at a private resort owned by his family, he dropped the plan like a hot potato.
"Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020," Trump tweeted. He said his administration "will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately."
The striking reversal raises further doubts about the position of the president's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulavney, who held a press conference on Thursday announcing the choice of Doral for the summit. He insisted his staff had concluded it was "far and away the best physical facility." Mulvaney said the White House reached that determination after visiting 10 sites across the country.
In the same press conference, Mulvaney acknowledged a quid pro quo was at work when Trump held up US aid to Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine's investigation of Democrats and the 2016 elections. Mulvaney later claimed his comments had been misconstrued, but not before drawing the ire of the president and frustration from other senior aides.
Trump had been the first administration official to publicly float the selection of his property to host the summit when in August he mentioned it was on the shortlist and praised its facilities and proximity to Miami's international airport. His comments, more than a month before the official announcement, drew instant criticism from good governance groups and Democrats, who said it raised concerns that Trump was using the White House to boost his personal finances.
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