Trump began October by green-lighting Turkey and ended it by red-lighting Doral

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jserraglio
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Trump began October by green-lighting Turkey and ended it by red-lighting Doral

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:05 am

THE HILL

President Trump on Saturday said he would no longer host next year's Group of Seven (G-7) summit at his Doral resort after intense backlash from Democrats, ethics watchdogs and some Republican lawmakers.

The reversal came two days after the White House announced that Trump National Doral near Miami would host the gathering of world leaders next June. The decision was widely panned by critics who viewed it as a brazen move for the president to enrich his family brand.

Trump tweeted Sunday night, "Thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders," boasting of the property's proximity to major airports and its physical spaces.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

About 35 minutes later, Trump followed up with a tweet announcing the venue would be changed.
"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," Trump tweeted. "We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!"

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced during a briefing on Thursday that Doral would host the G-7 summit next June. He said the Trump family property was chosen after White House teams scouted a dozen properties as potential sites.

Mulvaney downplayed questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest for the president, insisting that there would be no profit and that the resort was "far and away the best choice."

"I get the criticisms. So does [Trump]… but no, there’s no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form," Mulvaney said. "If you think it's going to help his brand, that's great, but I would suggest that he doesn't need much help promoting his brand."

Trump was the one who encouraged Doral be considered, Mulvaney said, which further inflamed criticism.

The announcement immediately drew backlash. Critics viewed it as a blatant violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments.

Democrats quickly sought details of the contract for Doral, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pledged to add the use of the Trump property for the G-7 to an ongoing Emoluments Clause lawsuit against the president.

"This is corruption, plain and simple," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"The Constitution is clear: the President cannot accept gifts or payments from foreign governments. No one is above the law," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted.

Even some Republicans expressed unease over the decision.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters it was not appropriate for Trump to host the G-7 at his own property.

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), who is retiring at the end of his term, told The Washington Post he felt the decision "just further fans the flames that the Democrats have been ranting about.”

The Doral decision also exacerbated an already difficult week in the White House. Multiple current and former administration officials have cooperated with House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry into the president, and Republicans have come out in force to criticize Trump over his foreign policy in Syria.

Two of the most damaging revelations came during Mulvaney's Thursday presser: That Doral would host the G-7 and the admission that aid for Ukraine was tied to an investigation into Democrats involved in the 2016 election lead-up. Both have since been undercut or reversed over the course of 60 hours as the White House seeks to do damage control.

In another contradiction of Mulvaney, Trump floated Camp David as a potential new host site. The Maryland retreat hosted the last G-7 in the United States in 2012, though Mulvaney told reporters Thursday that he heard those involved in that event "thought it was a miserable place to have the G-7."

Mulvaney said the White House had considered a dozen sites, which included spots in California, Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

The final four sites included Doral, two spots in Utah and one in Hawaii, according to Mulvaney.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

Ricordanza
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Re: For second time in October, Trump backs down

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:36 am

Trump was prepared for the criticism by the Democrats and the media, but I suspect he backed down (something he rarely does) when he heard (privately) from Republican members of Congress about this, perhaps including Mitch McConnell.

lennygoran
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Re: Trump began October by green-lighting Turkey and ended it by red-lighting Doral

Post by lennygoran » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:53 am

Well with that issue gone and with no quid pro quo I guess the impeachment hearings can be dropped! Regards, Len [fleeing] :lol: :lol: :lol:

jserraglio
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Re: Trump began October by green-lighting Turkey and ended it by red-lighting Doral

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:44 am

Trump rarely backs down?

Say what?

He has capitulated in one way or another to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, N.Korea, Russia and China. On the foreign front at least, he conducts himself as if he were an invertebrate.

lennygoran
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Re: Trump began October by green-lighting Turkey and ended it by red-lighting Doral

Post by lennygoran » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:49 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:44 am
Trump rarely backs down?
Still he does MELT down! Regards, Len

PS-I just don't know what to make of this Hillary/ Tulsi fight?

Ricordanza
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Re: For second time in October, Trump backs down

Post by Ricordanza » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:41 am

Ricordanza wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:36 am
Trump was prepared for the criticism by the Democrats and the media, but I suspect he backed down (something he rarely does) when he heard (privately) from Republican members of Congress about this, perhaps including Mitch McConnell.
The Washington Post has confirmed what I suspected: it was mostly private Republican criticism that made him reverse the Doral invitation:
Trump reversed course on hosting G-7 at his club after learning that impeachment-weary Republicans were tired of defending him
By
Toluse Olorunnipa,
Josh Dawsey and
David A. Fahrenthold
Oct. 20, 2019 at 8:25 p.m. EDT
President Trump was forced to abandon his decision to host next year’s Group of Seven summit at his private golf club after it became clear the move had alienated Republicans and swiftly become part of the impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.

In a round of phone calls with conservative allies this weekend, Trump was told Republicans are struggling to defend him on so many fronts, according to an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

Democrats, meanwhile, continued to blast Trump for awarding the massive government contract to his own company and said they might add the alleged “emoluments” violation to the articles of impeachment they are preparing.

Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting

The White House has been struggling to explain Trump’s G-7 decision since it was announced Thursday. The president’s opponents quickly seized on it as another example of Trump abusing his office for personal gain. Even many Republicans seemed reluctant to offer political cover.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tried to defend the decision during a news conference but caused a new controversy when he was asked about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president that sparked the impeachment inquiry. Mulvaney told reporters that Trump had held up nearly $400 million in aid to push the foreign government to investigate Democrats, comments that undercut Trump’s central defense in the inquiry. When a journalist followed up, saying that Mulvaney seemed to be describing a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said “we do that all the time with foreign policy.”

On Sunday, Mulvaney expressed regret about how he handled the two issues.

“It’s not lost on me that if we made the decision [to move the G-7] on Thursday, we wouldn’t have had the news conference on Thursday regarding everything else, but that’s fine,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mulvaney’s acknowledgment of a mistake — he also said Sunday that the news conference had been less than “perfect” — comes as Trump has privately expressed displeasure with his acting chief’s job performance and as some White House officials are seeking to replace him, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal private discussions. Several officials said Trump’s aides and allies are considering options for a new chief of staff.

On Friday, White House press officials said Trump continued to support Mulvaney. “Mick Mulvaney’s standing in the White House has not changed,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.

But the chief of staff may have damaged that standing with his Fox News interview, in which he explained Trump’s desire to host the G-7 at his property by saying the president “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

While several Trump allies said the comment was accurate, they said it was a bad idea for Mulvaney to make it in public. Other top Republicans, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have begun to distance themselves from Mulvaney, who released a statement Thursday denying his admission of a quid pro quo.

Trump blamed his G-7 reversal on critics, saying on Twitter that his decision to scrap plans for a summit at the Doral club was “based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”

But behind closed doors, several aides and allies said, Trump changed his mind in response to pressure and frustration from his own party.

In the month since Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry, Republicans have struggled to offer a coherent response. With no White House war room, GOP lawmakers have seized on process-related responses.

At the same time, they’re being asked to defend the president’s erratic approach to policymaking, including his abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops and abandon Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. That announcement was roundly condemned by Republicans, including some of his staunchest defenders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), in a rare public rebuke of Trump, wrote a withering op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, just days after 129 House Republicans backed a resolution criticizing the president’s move.

Trump’s decision to host next year’s G-7 meeting at his private golf club only increased the anxiety among GOP lawmakers, some of whom have grown weary of having to develop new talking points almost daily.

Privately, and occasionally in public, several Republicans said they were not prepared to defend the president from charges that he was engaged in self-dealing on the G-7 site selection.

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) said Friday that Trump should avoid even the appearance of impropriety that comes with holding a global summit at his private property. “I think that would be better if he would not use his hotel for this kind of stuff,” he said.

Rooney, who announced his retirement the day after his comments, also said he was considering backing Trump’s impeachment over his handling of Ukraine policy.

Trump has been closely watching Republicans and their comments about impeachment, according to one administration official. The president was told repeatedly his G-7 decision made it more difficult to keep Senate Republicans in a unified front against impeachment proceedings, the official said. Before he changed course, Trump had waved off concerns from advisers who said hosting world leaders at his club would not play well.

“There was very little support for this in the building even before Mick went out there and did what he did,” an official said.

Near the airport, ample parking: Why Trump says his Florida golf club should host the next G-7

Before he took office, Trump made the unprecedented decision to keep ownership of his businesses — but he promised that he would never use his new power to help them. The Trump Organization’s lawyers promised to avoid even the appearance of “any advantage derived from the Office of the Presidency.”

But in practice, Trump has continued to boost his businesses — by talking them up and by visiting them repeatedly, with aides and fellow Republicans in tow.

Trump has visited his properties more than 130 times while in office. As of this summer, those visits had brought him more than $1.6 million in payments from the federal government and Republican campaign groups, which rented Trump’s ballrooms for fundraisers.

In the past 18 months, Trump has made even more expensive visits to his properties in Ireland, Scotland and South Florida — visits that took him far out of his way from the official business of his trips. He also suggested Vice President Pence do the same: Pence built his own detour into an official trip and spent extra hours commuting so he could stay at Trump’s club in remote southwestern Ireland. These trips bring attention to Trump’s properties, and they bring revenue.

Democrats and good governance groups have said Trump is violating the Constitution’s ban on receiving “emoluments” from foreign or domestic sources while president. The decision to host world leaders and U.S. officials at his Doral club during the G-7 was particularly controversial because it would have put Trump at the center of those alleged violations.

“It shouldn’t have been done in the first place,” Chris Christie, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “This was just an unforced error.”

Christie said Trump should not be antagonizing Republicans at a time when he will need their votes to protect him in the impeachment process.

“We have to be in friend-making mode,” he said.

Trump, who has been able to rely on near-unanimous Republican support during his 33 months in office, appeared chastened by the lack of support.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,” he tweeted Saturday.

One former senior administration official said Trump would regularly brag about his properties and ask visitors their opinions while boasting of their amenities.

“It’s true that he really just thinks his properties are the best,” said a longtime adviser to the president. “He does not understand in his mind why he would have something at someone else’s property.”

The president’s critics were less charitable, accusing Trump of trying to make money for his private business by awarding himself a lucrative federal contract.

“This is why he ran in the first place,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer and critic. “He never thought he’d win. It was free marketing.”

Mulvaney, who claimed Thursday that the White House had chosen the president’s Doral resort after a nationwide search, said Sunday on Fox that Trump was surprised by the backlash he had received.

“Could we have put on an excellent G-7 at Doral? Absolutely,” he said. “Will we end up putting on an excellent G-7 someplace else? Yes, we will.”

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