US & Canada

Trump suggests hosting next G7 at his Doral golf resort

Donald Trump Image copyright EPA

US President Donald Trump has suggested hosting next year's G7 meeting at his golf resort in Miami, Florida.

Speaking as this year's meeting of world leaders wrapped up, he told reporters that "my people" had toured venues across the US before concluding his Doral hotel would be ideal.

"It's not about me, it's about getting the right location," he said at a news conference on Monday.

Critics accused Mr Trump of trying to profit from the summit.

The US president made the remarks as he and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK ended their three-day meeting in Biarritz, France.

Mr Trump's property, the National Doral Miami, is located around 8 miles (13 km) from Miami's airport.

He said Secret Service and "military people" were among his scouts who toured "all over the country and they came up and said this is where we'd like to be".

"My people looked at 12 sites - all good, but some were two hours from an airport, some four hours - so far away," Mr Trump said. "Some didn't allow this, didn't allow that."

When asked by a reporter on the propriety of picking his own property to host G7, Mr Trump said doing so would actually cost him money.

"In my opinion, I'm not going to make any money," he said. "I don't care about making money... I think it just works out well."

He insisted the idea was "not at all" to boost his own brand.

Earlier on Monday, during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Trump said Doral was a frontrunner but that no final decision about the exact location had been made.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump at the G7

He added that so far, no other venue "could even come close to competing with" Doral.

"It's got tremendous acreage, many hundreds of acres, so we can handle whatever happens," Mr Trump said.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Trump originally floated the idea back in June of his 800-acre Doral property hosting next year's G7 summit.

Mr Trump's advisers cautioned against staging such an event at a Trump venue due to ethical questions that would arise, according to the Post.

Mr Trump has been criticised during his presidency for visiting his golf clubs across the US and abroad - he stayed at his luxury resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, after a state visit to the UK this summer.

The so-called Emoluments Clause of the US constitution prohibits a president from any "profit, gain, or advantage" received "directly or indirectly" from foreign governments.

When he became president, Mr Trump stepped down from running his company, handing over the reins of the real estate empire to his sons, but he did not divest from his assets and still retains ownership of the business.

A number of Trump properties have seen declines in profits during his presidency. The Miami Herald reported this May that the Doral resort has been "severely under-performing".

The president's critics say his ownership of these properties is a conflict of interest and argue it is unethical that Mr Trump could benefit from any profits during his presidency.

In July, a federal appeals court rejected a case brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and DC that argued Mr Trump was unconstitutionally profiting through his hotel in the nation's capital, not far from the White House.

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