The next G7 summit, scheduled for 2020 in the United States, will be held at one of President Donald Trump's golf clubs in Florida, the Trump National Doral Club, his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Thursday.
The idea, which Trump himself openly defended during the last G7 in Biarritz, France, sparked a wave of criticism and questions about possible conflicts of interest.
"It's not the only possible place, but it's the best," Mulvaney said at a press conference at the White House. The tycoon bought the place in 2012 and on the internet it promotes it as a "tropical oasis" that offers more than 600 rooms, including two "presidential suites" and a large ballroom named "Donald J. Trump".RELATED
The entrance of the Trump National Doral, where the president wants to organize the next G7 summit. (Photo: AFP / Eve Sanberg).
"We have used the same criteria as those used by previous administrations" for the organization of summits, he said, specifying that 12 options had been studied. "It's a formidable site," Trump had said in Biarritz.
"It has a considerable area, hundreds of hectares, so we can hold any event on site," he added. "It is right next to the airport … and each delegation can have its own building," he said.
This is Donald Trump's golf club where he wants to organize the next G7 summit. (Photo: genitleza trumpgolfdoral.com)
Minimizing any ethical or legal questioning, Trump had assured that with the summit he would not receive "anything" of profits. "I don't mind making money," he added, repeating an argument he made several times according to which the presidency led him, rather, to reduce his fortune. In spite of this, he barely assumed doubled the annual membership fee in his club from Mar to Lago, where he received several leaders.
Mulvaney said the operation would be done at cost.
Complaints of conflict of interest by the G7
The president of the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, Jerry Nadler, told CNN that “Doral's decision reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be obliged to pay President Trump's private business to conduct business with United States, "Nadler said.
"This is a conflict of interest because you are going to benefit from the result of this. In fact, if you were a federal employee other than the president of the United States, it would be a crime to participate in this activity," he said. Director of the Ethics Office of the Government of the White House, Walter Shaub.
Climate change, off the summit agenda
The choice of place is not the only controversy at this G7 summit. According to Mulvaney, "the issue of climate change will not be on the agenda" of the meeting between leaders of the powers.
Trump, a climate skeptic, withdrew his country from the Paris agreement and took distance from all initiatives to combat global warming at major international events. In fact, at the last summit in Biarritz, where the issue was central in the midst of the Amazon fire crisis and growing global youth mobilizations, Trump argued agenda issues to skip a meeting on climate change.