U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he would likely host the 2020 G-7 summit at one of his properties, the Trump National Doral Golf Club resort in Florida.
No final decision has been made for next year’s venue, when it is the U.S.’s turn to stage the annual gathering. But Trump, who often touts the beauty and amenities of his clubs and hotels, says the posh, palm tree setting would be perfect for meetings with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Japan and Canada.
He said other leaders “love the location of the hotel, they also like the fact is it right next to the airport for convenience. And it is Miami, Doral, Miami, so it is a great area,” he said as this year’s summit in the Atlantic coastal town of Biarritz, France wound down. “We haven’t had anything that could even come close to competing with it, especially when you look at the location.”
The club’s web site touts “a new generation of style and service,” and has four golf courses, including the “Blue Monster” that has hosted major championships in the past and charges golfers $250 to play an 18-hole round.
Other G-7 leaders have often staged the summits they hosted in locales far removed from major cities, to promote the natural beauty of the sites, such as at the three G-7 gatherings Trump has attended in Italy, Canada and France.
“So many places are so far away, the drive is so long, they need helicopters,” Trump said. Doral “is somewhere you can be at within minutes of landing.”
He told reporters that U.S. officials considered 12 possible sites for next year’s summit, but that Doral was the best spot.
“Each country can have its own bungalow,” he said. “It’s like a natural.”
Even so, he praised the setting in Biarritz, saying, “We can learn from what they did here, even architecturally, the way the rooms were set up and designed.”
Trump critics have often attacked him for maintaining ownership of his vast global real estate empire during his presidency and promoting it, even as he has turned over its management to his two oldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
Government watchdogs have criticized the fact that foreign governments frequently book their diplomats at Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington blocks from the White House, so they are effectively paying the U.S. leader for a place to sleep.
But the Trump Organization, the president’s corporation, says it donates profits — $151,470 last year — from the hotel revenues generated by the foreign nationals to the U.S. Treasury.
The Trump Organization says it makes the donation so as not to violate the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against foreign governments giving “emoluments” — foreign gifts and money — to American presidents without Congress’ permission.
Trump said he would make no money off a G-7 summit at Doral, and said the presidency, since he has dropped out of running his business, has cost him $3 billion to $5 billion.