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Democrats attempt to block Trump’s struggling golf resort from hosting G7 summit

Vincent Wood
Mr Trump has awarded hosting of the next G7 summit to one of his own Florida golf clubs, the White House said on Thursday: AFP via Getty Images

Democrats in the house and the senate have moved to block Donald Trump’s plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his struggling Florida golf resort.

On Thursday, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced the influential summit between the world’s economic powerhouses would be held at the Trump National Doral Miami on the urging of the president.

Despite anticipating concern over conflicts of interest over the choice to hold the summit , which can cost upwards of $40m (£30m), at a Trump property, Mr Mulvaney said at the time “the president has been very clear that he does not profit”

However Democrats in both chambers of congress are now moving to block the plan – with three members of the house of representatives introducing the Trump’s Heist Undermines the G7 – or THUG – act. A companion bill is due to be introduced by Democratic senators to run alongside the legislation.

The bill uses the house’s power of the purse to make sure no public funds can be put towards the hosting of the G7 at the site – except for secret service protection.

It also compels the White House to provide any documents that show how the decision to host the summit at the Doral was made.

Mr Trump handed over control of his real estate empire to his sons after being elected president – however has regularly brought up and used his properties during his time in office.

His Doral resort has reportedly been "haemorrhaging money" since the president took office, suffering steep declines in revenue according to a Miami New Times report from May.

“Mr Trump is unashamed of his corruption,” said Representative Lois Frankel, who introduced the act. “He is abusing the office of the presidency and violating law by directing millions of dollars of American and foreign money to his family enterprises by holding an important meeting of world leaders at his Doral resort.”

Sheldon Whitehouse, the junior senator for Rhode Island and a former attorney general for the state, added: “Once again, Donald Trump is using the office of the presidency and our relationships with some of our closest allies to enrich himself.

“The founding fathers worried about perks flowing to a corrupt president, but they could have never dreamt of corruption this brazen,”

It comes after the former White House director to the office of government ethics Walter Shaub slammed Mr Trump's decision in a tweet posted on Thursday night.

“There is no level of corruption greater than a president participating in the award of a contract to himself,” he wrote.

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