Accused by Democrats of blatant corruption by planning to host the 2020 G7 Summit at his Doral resort and golf course in Miami, President Donald Trump on Saturday night reversed course and dropped those plans, retreating just two days after his acting White House Chief of Staff announced the plans.
"I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders," the President wrote on Twitter, defending his choice of venue - which he owns.
"I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!" the President wrote.
....Therefore, 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. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2019
WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump scraps plans to hold Group of Seven summit at his Florida golf resort next year after facing intense criticism.— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 20, 2019
“To translate, “Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility” means people who stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law against what some of the most flagrant corruption in American history,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).
Critics in Congress and outside ethics groups had denounced the President's decision, arguing that it was a clear cut example of corruption.
Democrats had already planned a vote this coming week in the House on a measure to condemn the President for his choice, as some suggested it was such a clear cut violation of ethics rules - and federal law - that it would automatically become an article of impeachment.
“After demanding answers from the White House about the President’s decision to hold the G-7 at his Doral resort, I’m glad he’s reversed course,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). “But it never should have come to this.”
“It's just one mind-blowing, embarrassing fiasco after another,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).
"President Trump’s decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation," said Noah Bookbinder, the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
"It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration," Bookbinder added.
The President’s decision to award the G-7 conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation. His reversal of that decision is a bow to reality, but does not change how astonishing it was that a president ever thought this was appropriate.— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) October 20, 2019
The announcement on Twitter by the President came barely 48 hours after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was pelted with questions in a rare briefing for reporters, as he shrugged off repeated questions about why the G7 selection wasn't straight and simple corruption.
"Get over it," Mulvaney said at one point.
That news conference also included Mulvaney openly acknowledging that the Trump White House had pressured the Ukraine government to investigate items related to the 2016 elections, in exchange for the release of military aid to Ukraine.
Several hours after that briefing, Mulvaney issued a denial of any quid pro quo, as he accused reporters of twisting his words - even though his statements were very clear.
“I don’t think he’s enjoying impeachment at all,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said of the President.
“He can also repay American taxpayers the millions collected at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump Hotel, and other Trump properties from DOD, Secret Service, the White House and other fed agencies in violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause,” tweeted Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).