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G7 summit won't take place at his Florida resort after backlash

G7 summit won't take place at his Florida resort after backlash”

WASHINGTON-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned plans late on Saturday to host next year's Group of Seven summit at his Florida golf resort, after Democrats and others had decried the selection with unproven claims that the president was misusing his office for personal gain.

Trump said his administration "will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately".

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday insisted "there was never a quid pro quo" in a call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's president - and that his controversial news conference remarks about aid being tied to a probe of Democrats were misinterpreted. Mulvaney said the resort was "far and away" the best facility for the meeting and emphasized that the president would not profit from this event. Trump said Saturday he was backing down because of criticism from Democrats and the media, but many Republicans were also openly critical.

Hosting the G-7 summit would have been a major boon for the company, filling the hotel in June, a month when the resort is typically less than 40 percent full.

The G7 reversal is yet another backtrack from Mulvaney's White House press conference.

Pressed about his comment that Trump still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, Mulvaney said: "It's his background". 'I think it's the right decision to change and we'll have to find someplace else and my guess is we'll find someplace else the media won't like for another reason'.

Speaking to "Fox News Sunday" hours after the president's reversal, Mulvaney doubled down on the original decision.

On Thursday, Mulvaney had discounted Camp David, the government-owned presidential retreat, as the site for the summit, saying: "I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G-7".

'There's no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form, ' Mulvaney said.

One day after Mulvaney's announcement, a trio of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to block the president from hosting next year's summit.

He attributed the concession to "Irrational Hostility" from Democrats as well as the media, although the revolt among some Republicans may well have been the trigger.

Democrats had expressed outrage that Trump would engage in what seemed such a clear act of self-dealing, even as he continues to face lawsuits over whether his hotels and restaurants in NY and Washington are profiting in violation of constitutional anti-corruption clauses. He added that it was too small and remote for the worldwide summit.

The G-7 consists of the the United States, Italy, Japan, France, Great Britain, Canada and Germany.

'That's why we held up the money, ' Mulvaney said Thursday afternoon after listing the 2016-related investigation and Trump's broader concerns about corruption in Ukraine.



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