Last August, Donald Trump first floated a blatantly corrupt idea: What if the next G7 summit of world leaders, scheduled for June 2020, took place at one of his properties? As is the case with many Trump scandals, this one began in clear view of the public, a rumor intended to become a reality in between a dizzying array of other scandals and illegalities.
A few months passed, and, on Thursday, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney held a rare press conference to announce that after an exhaustive search process, the White House decided to host the June G7 summit at Trump National Doral Miami. (Not to be confused with Mar-a-Lago, the other Florida locale where Trump has been profiting off the visits of world leaders.) The property, according to the New York Times, has struggled financially since the Trump Organization bought it out of bankruptcy in 2012, taking on more than $100 million in loans from Deutsche Bank; in 2014, it lost $2.4 million and the Trumps have not disclosed profits since.
In a limp attempt to stave off criticisms of self-dealing, Mulvaney claimed that Doral is "far and away the best physical facility for this meeting," and that "Donald Trump's brand is already strong enough on its own." There's a sliver of truth to Mulvaney's statement, though perhaps not in the way he intended: As Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold tweeted on Thursday, Trump's namesake/brand has been tanking business at the resort ever since his presidency began:
Additionally, Fahrenthold pointed out, Doral isn't exactly known for being an ironclad facility providing a luxurious, resort-style experience:
Trump, for his part, managed to remain silent on the Doral decision, at least on Thursday. Instead, he fired off congratulatory tweets to himself for the temporary ceasefire deal Vice President Mike Pence reached with Turkey, which was so favorable to Turkey that Turkish officials expressed surprise that they "got everything we wanted."
Predictably, reactions to Trump's latest get-richer scheme are best summed up by party affiliation. Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio said it's "great" Trump is hosting G7 at Doral, adding that it's a helpful boost for nearby businesses.
Meanwhile, House Democrats, who recently launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump see it quite differently. “He is exploiting his office and making official U.S. government decisions for his personal financial gain,” said New York representative Jerrold Nadler, who is currently drawing up articles of impeachment as the House Judiciary chairman. “The emoluments clauses of the Constitution exist to prevent exactly this kind of corruption.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed the sentiment in a tweet: “The Constitution is clear. The President cannot accept gifts or payments from foreign governments. No one is above the law.”
The Doral Miami resort is, of course, under Trump Organization and therefore operated by Trump's sons Eric and Don Jr, who just recently criticized Hunter Biden for the "appearance of impropriety."
Trump's chief of staff told reporters, "We do that all that time with foreign policy."
Originally Appeared on GQ