Mick Mulvaney: Trump ‘surprised’ by backlash over plan to host G-7 at Doral resort

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Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that the 2020 G-7 economic summit would be hosted at President Donald Trump’s famous Doral resort in south Florida, and quite predictably, Democrats, the media and Never-Trumpers utterly lost their minds.

Following several days of intense criticism over the decision, Trump announced via Twitter that the G-7 would be held at a different venue instead of Doral, and Mulvaney revealed in an interview on Sunday that the president was genuinely “surprised” at the level of the acrimonious backlash he received.

Switching things up

During his media briefing on Thursday, Mulvaney described the process by which the Trump National Doral resort near Miami, Florida had been chosen instead of a dozen other sites that had been considered, with the decision largely coming down to the immense size of the property, the plentiful accommodations and structural amenities that would allow each nation — as well as the media — to have its own building, and, perhaps first and foremost, the ability to sequester and secure the property from the rest of the nearby city.

Mulvaney also repeatedly informed the media that the president wouldn’t be receiving any sort of profit or financial benefit from hosting the G-7 at his resort. In fact, everything would have been done for cost, and the decision to hold the event there was estimated to save taxpayers millions of dollars over any other potential site.

Nevertheless, Democrats and the media cried foul, demanded investigations and accused the president of seeking to enrich himself by virtue of his office — allegedly in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

Trump reverses course

Thus, President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that the upcoming G-7 summit would no longer be held at Doral. In a series of tweets, Trump wrote:

I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have…its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives.

The president continued: “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!”

The president added another tweet a short time later announcing his final decision:

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. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!

Mulvaney breaks it down

On Sunday, at the tail end of a lengthy interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Mulvaney was asked about the president’s reversal and tweets on the topic. “I honestly think what you saw in the tweets was real. The president isn’t one for holding back his feelings and emotions about something — he was honestly surprised at the level of pushback,” Mulvaney said.

“At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could, and he was very comfortable doing that at Doral,” Mulvaney added. “I think we were all surprised at the level of pushback, but it’s the right decision to change, and we’ll have to find someplace else, and my guess is we’ll find someplace else that the media won’t like either for another reason.”

Wallace tried to push back on the notion that Trump still considers himself to be in the hospitality business and reminded Mulvaney that Trump was, in fact, the president of the United States. Mulvaney replied, “Yeah, but that’s his background,” and reiterated that Trump’s primary focus had been putting on the best show possible for the visiting world leaders.

Mulvaney concluded that the perception that Doral was a “lousy” choice was just that, a perception of some, and said: “Would we have put on an excellent G-7 at Doral? Absolutely. Will we end up putting on an excellent G-7 someplace else? Yes, we will.”

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