US President Donald Trump abandoned plans late on Saturday 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, Trump said he would drop the plan announced on Thursday 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.
On Saturday, Trump sought in his unusual reversal to emphasise 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.
In May, The Washington Post reported Doral’s operating income had fallen 69 per cent since 2015, citing company documents that it reviewed.