- US President Donald Trump on Saturday reversed his decision to host the G7 summit at his Trump National Doral Miami resort in Florida.
- Though he blamed the reversal on Democrats and the media, the switch was actually prompted by irate Republicans, sources told The Washington Post and New York Times.
- The decision to host the event at the resort, announced last Thursday, prompted accusations of corruption.
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US President Donald Trump reversed his decision to host the G7 resort at his private golf club after being told that Republicans objected to the idea, an administration official told The Washington Post.
According to the official, the president spoke to conservative allies by telephone over the weekend and was told that Republicans are struggling to defend him on multiple fronts.
He later announced that he would not be hosting the summit at his resort in Doral, Florida, contrary to what he said a few days earlier.
The New York Times also reported that the reversal was prompted by Republican opposition. The outlet said Trump had been told that moderate party lawmakers gathered for a meeting at Camp David could not defend the decision.
The report contradicts the explanation for the decision given in tweets by the president Saturday, in which he claimed that he abandoned the plan because of “crazed and irrational” hostility from Democrats and the media.
Bowing to objections from Republicans would appear to acknowledge that legitimate concerns over the original choice do exist.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
The decision to host the event at the golf course was announced by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney at a press conference last week, igniting another controversy for the White House.
The president is already struggling to battle an impeachment inquiry, and widespread criticism of his decision to withdraw US forces from Syria.
The president is reliant on the support of moderate congressional Republicans in the impeachment battle.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2019
House Democrats were quick to accuse the president of seeking to corruptly profit from his office after last week’s announcement, and said the decision would form part of their impeachment inquiry.
“Once again, Donald Trump is using the office of the presidency and our relationships with some of our closest allies to enrich himself,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat. He backed legislation from Democrats introduced last week to block the move.
“The founding fathers worried about perks flowing to a corrupt president, but they could have never dreamt of corruption this brazen.”
Mulvaney, when announcing the venue of the summit last week, said that Trump would make the resort available “at cost” and would not profit.
Critics said the resort would clearly benefit from the windfall of publicity even if it made no profit on paper.
A decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and effectively abandon the US’ Kurdish allies has also drawn bipartisan condemnation, including from Republican congressmen such as Senator Lindsey Graham, usually a Trump ally.