WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – The White House says it has chosen President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Miami as the site for next year’s Group of Seven summit.
The announcement Thursday comes at the same that the president has accused Joe Biden’s family of profiting from public office because of Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine when his father was vice president.
“We used the same set of criteria that previous administrations have used,” White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said.
He said Trump National Doral was “far and away the best physical facility for this meeting.”
.@EamonJavers asks White House chief of staff Mulvaney how this is not "just an enormous conflict of interest" and how will Trump criticize the Bidens for self-dealing after this move.
Mulvaney says Trump's brand is already "strong enough as it is" and there won't be any profit. pic.twitter.com/3MH8motsPZ
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) October 17, 2019
The G-7 summit will be held from June 10 to 12. The idea of holding the event at Trump’s resort has been criticized by government ethics watchdogs.
Trump has touted his resort, saying it’s close to the airport, has plenty of hotel rooms and offers separate buildings for every delegation.
When the United States has hosted the summit before, it has been held in Puerto Rico, Williamsburg, Houston, Denver, Sea Island, and Camp David- the presidential retreat in Maryland.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has previously said the committee would be requesting White House documents scheduling September meetings to investigate the legality of a G7 at Doral.
“Hosting the G7 Summit at Doral implicates both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, because it would entail both foreign and U.S. government spending to benefit the President, the latter potentially including both federal and state expenditures. More importantly, the Doral decision reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to pay President Trump’s private businesses in order to conduct business with the United States,” Nadler said.
Former White House Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub told CNN when the idea was first floated in August that holding the meeting at Doral would be a conflict of interest.
“This is a conflict of interest because he’s going to benefit by the outcome of this. In fact, if he was any federal employee other than the president of the United States, it would be a crime for him to be involved in this activity,” Shaub said. “He’s exempt from the criminal conflict of interest law but that wasn’t intended as a perk of high office and it was expected that he would act as though he were covered by it.”