Donald Trump Reportedly Considering Hosting G7 Summit at His Own Golf Resort Blasted as 'Extremely Problematic'

The Trump National Doral, one of the president's luxury golf resorts, has reportedly been picked by the administration as a finalist for hosting some of the world's most powerful leaders at the G7 summit next year.

According to a report by Axios published on Monday, Donald Trump's Miami resort is in the mix of potential locations for the economic forum in 2020. The president has touted that the 800-acre golf club is one of the Trump Organization's most profitable entities, even though it's been reported that revenue steadily declined at the resort over the past few years.

Trump has been widely criticized for potentially profiting from events and guests at his chain of resorts and hotels. Ethics experts say that choosing the Trump National Doral as a finalist for the global forum is just the latest example of his disregard of mixing business with the presidency.

"The potential use of one of his properties for the G7 summit is just the latest example of this extremely problematic, but sadly all too common, pattern," Noah Bookbinder, executive director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told Newsweek.

Bookbinder added that the public "should never have to worry that policy decisions, foreign relations, or national security could be affected by the president's business interests or bottom line, but that is the risk the country runs every time the president's businesses are inserted into national affairs."

The G7 summit will bring together leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. While President Trump retains ownership of his businesses, he has handed off day-to-day operations to his two sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump while he serves in office.

Former federal prosecutor Michael J. Stern tweeted on Monday that if the reports about the Trump National Doral potentially hosting the G7 summit are true, it's "grotesque."

"Trump is using the presidency to gain financially. A horrible conflict of interest and ethics failure," Stern wrote.

trump national doral possible G7 summit location
Police block off the entrance to the Trump National Doral Miami resort on May 18, 2018 in Doral, Florida. Trump's golf resort is in the mix to host the G7 summit next year. Joe Raedle/Getty

President Trump was recently accused of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution after an analysis by The Washington Post found that his private businesses have received $1.6 million from Republicans and various federal agencies.

One-third of all the fundraisers Trump has attended have taken place at his own properties. Republican groups also often host events at his businesses in the hope that the president will make an appearance. The Post surmised that the total amount of money Trump has made due to visiting and campaigning at his businesses is likely much more than $1.6 million but official spending records are only available through the first half of 2017.

Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, responded to the newspaper's June report in a tweet in which he provided the relevant text from Article I of the Constitution:

"And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State," Nadler wrote.

Bookbinder said that while it's too soon to know if the use of Trump's Florida resort for the G7 summit would violate the Constitution, the "risk is clearly there." He added that a "responsible administration would avoid that risk altogether."

Democrats introduced legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this year to legally prevent Trump from profiting from the federal government at his businesses. The spending bills would prohibit certain federal agencies from using taxpayer dollars or entering contracts at Trump's properties across the world.

"The fact is when we stay at his hotels and his properties, he makes money. Nobody is supposed to make money from the presidency, directly or indirectly, and they are supposed to report these possibilities to the Congress so we have knowledge," Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee said during a debate on the House floor.

The legislation is still in committee and is unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. The authors of the proposal, including Cohen, will be submitting it as an amendment to every spending bill brought to the House floor.