President Donald Trump has yet more plans to try to personally profit off his presidency. According to Axios, one of the top location choices for hosting the G7 summit next year is Trump’s Doral golf resort near Miami.
If the summit were held there, it might be the single biggest windfall of Trump’s presidency for his businesses. Though he’s hosted individual foreign leaders in the past at Mar-a-Lago — and plenty have stayed at his hotel in Washington, D.C. — the G7 summit would bring leaders and their staff from the top economic powers in the world. Equipping the facility with the proper security for such a summit would surely come at great taxpayer expense.
As a frame of reference, the United States last hosted the G7 in 2012, with President Barack Obama using Camp David as the location, which is already equipped to provide such security.
The Miami Herald notes that Doral has actually been struggling since Trump bought it in 2012 — specifically because it bears his name. Though it’s still the biggest source of revenue for the Trump Organization, its profits dropped from $116 million in 2017 to $75 million in 2018, even as nearby competitors did not see such revenue declines.
Doral was also set to host a charity golf tournament with strippers as caddies this month, but it was ultimately cancelled because of “the climate of everything.”
Trump repeatedly has used the presidency to profit from his businesses. Since taking office, taxpayers have paid $109.2 million in travel and security costs for Trump to spend time at his own resorts. In fact, he’s spent about a fifth of his entire presidency at golf courses.
Just this weekend, he used such a trip to host a Republican fundraiser at his Bedminster golf course in New Jersey. Mar-a-Lago specifically markets Trump’s potential appearance to jack up the prices for its New Year’s Eve bashes. Trump even charges the Secret Service to stay at his hotel.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently handed Trump a procedural victory in a case alleging that Trump’s profits from foreign dignitaries staying at his properties violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. That clause prohibits the president from profiting off of business with foreign powers.
House Democrats are also trying to rein in Trump’s personal profiteering by proposing legislation that would prohibit federal agencies from contracting or spending money on Trump’s businesses.