WASHINGTON, DC - In an abrupt about-face U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday night the upcoming G7 in June next next year will not be held at a Trump resort.
"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," the president tweeted on Saturday, two days after it was announced that the summit of the intergovernmental body of superpowers would be held at Doral.
The announcement caused considerable backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike. It also caused angst outside the political arena.
"President Trump's decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation. It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration," Noah Bookbinder, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said in a statement. "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, or that it was something he could get away with."
Under the original plan, the delegations from the seven countries, the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, and the press would all be housed in Trump's 700-room hotel. The White House said the event would be staged at half the cost of holding it elsewhere, "saving millions of dollars."
Following the announcement that the resort would no longer host the G7, the president elaborated on Twitter.
"I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. 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! 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!" he said.
The Trump National Doral has been struggling financially. According to a recent report by The Washington Post, overall revenue at the golf resort is down since 2015 and net operating income declined by 69% from 2015 to 2017.
The property is "severely under-performing" other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid for relief on the property's tax bill.
Trump, bought the 800-acre resort in 2012 for a reported $150 million. He borrowed $125 million from Deutsche Bank and embarked on a $250 million refurbishment program, a report from The Real Deal said.
According to Wikipedia, the resort in 2017 settled out of court after a guest sued the hotel, claiming to have been bitten by bed bugs.
(Photo credit: Michael Kappeler).