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    Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 10, 2012

    White House Faces Criticism Over Picking Trump's Doral Resort to Host G-7 Summit Next Year

    © AFP 2019 / Andy Buchanan
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    The United States will host the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit at Trump National Doral, a resort property near Miami owned by President Trump's family.

    The summit will take place June 10-12, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters Thursday at the White House. 

    "We thought of the 12 places that we looked at... this was by far and away the best choice," Mulvaney said, adding that the list was eventually narrowed to two options in Utah, one in Hawaii and one in Florida.

    Trump was the one who suggested the Doral property be added to the list of sites under consideration, said Mulvaney, who cited the resort's proximity to airports, landing zones and hospitals.

    Trump first suggested in the closing days of this year's G-7 summit in France that his Doral resort was the front-runner to host next year's gathering of world leaders. 

    "I think it’s just a great place to be. I think having it in Miami is fantastic. Really fantastic," he said at the time. "Having it at that particular place, because of the way it’s set up, each country can have their own villa, or their own bungalow. And the bungalows, when I say, they have a lot of units in them. So I think it just works out well."

    The decision is certain to spark challenges from Democrats and ethics watchdog groups who will argue that the president is seeking to enrich his family's brand by bringing world leaders to a Trump property. Critics argued earlier during the Biarritz summit that the selection would be a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, prohibiting presidents from accepting payments from foreign countries, US states or the federal government.

    Mulvaney rejected those arguments on Thursday, insisting that Trump would not profit from the gathering as the facility had agreed to host the G-7 at cost, making the summit “dramatically cheaper.”

    "I get the criticisms. So does [Trump]… but no, there’s no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form," Mulvaney said. "If you think it's going to help his brand, that's great, but I would suggest that he doesn't need much help promoting his brand."

    A Democratic aide with the House Appropriations Committee noted after the announcement that the House passed two bills this year with provisions that would prevent the president from spending federal funds at his family properties. However, the Senate has not approved the measures so far. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning watchdog group, also said in a statement Thursday afternoon that there is "no question that the American government is being used as a public relations and marketing subsidiary of the Trump Organization."

    The summit itself and its eventual schedule are likely to draw significant interest in the coming months, as the agenda is yet to be shaped by world leaders. However, Mulvaney announced at Thursday's briefing that “climate change will not be on the agenda."  The topic has been a recurring theme at recent G-7 gatherings, though Trump has been absent from climate related sessions in each of the past two years.

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    G7 Summit, G7, USA, Donald Trump
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