President Trump's Florida golf course to host G7 summit in 'unbelievable' move
17 October 2019, 22:43 | Updated: 25 October 2019, 15:04
President Donald Trump’s Florida golf course has been chosen to host next year’s G7 summit in a move branded “unbelievable” by the ethics watchdog.
The White House said the resort, near Miami, had been chosen for the meeting because it was the “best physical facility.”
But Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the President was using his position to “prop up his struggling golf business."
He said: “Given the potential consequences the president is facing for abusing the presidency for his own gain, we would have thought he would steer clear of blatant corruption at least temporarily; instead he has doubled down on it.
“The president is now officially using the power of his office to help prop up his struggling golf business.
“There appears to be no bottom to President Trump’s corruption. What matters most to him is his personal profit and personal advancement, not the best interests of the American people.
“There is now no question that the American government is being used as a public relations and marketing subsidiary of the Trump Organization.”
The G7 summit will be held at the Trump National Doral from June 10-12.
Mr Trump said the resort is suitable because it is close to the airport, has plenty of hotel rooms and offers separate buildings for every delegation.
Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said a team looking at the sites reported that it was "the perfect physical location to do this".
"It became apparent at the end of that process that Doral was by far and away, far and away, the best physical facility for this meeting," Mr Mulvaney said.
He said that holding the event at Doral would be dramatically cheaper than other sites and that Mr Trump would not be profiting from the event.
"There's no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form," Mr Mulvaney said.
The announcement to hold the event at Trump National Doral comes at the same time the president has accused Democratic rival Joe Biden's family of profiting from public office because of his son's business activities in Ukraine when his father was vice president.
When the United States has hosted the summit before, it has been held in Puerto Rico; Williamsburg, Virginia; Houston; Denver; Sea Island, Georgia; and Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.