President Donald Trump wants to use his Doral luxury golf resort outside Miami for next year’s G-7 meeting. Surprise, surprise.
Yes, it takes some serious chutzpah to float your own for-profit enterprise as the location for an important international summit. Trump and his defenders have said he doesn’t profit from such decisions, but it’s hard to see how the thousands of diplomats, world media, staff and onlookers who will descend on the chosen location wouldn’t provide Trump’s reportedly struggling property with a financial boost.
It’s more of the same for the president, who seems to think of the presidency as a chance to toss business and the spotlight to his name-branded properties, whether it’s China’s Xi Jinping going to Mar-a-Lago or just a little stop at a golf club overseas.
Naturally this and similar ventures have drawn legal scrutiny for potentially violating the spirit and letter of the law, such as the constitutional ban on emoluments.
That hasn’t stopped the attempted grifting, which is so far beneath the dignity of the office as to be almost laughable if it weren’t so sad.
Whether Trump follows through on the Miami idea or not, the United States is the slotted host for the summit next year. There are plenty of suitable places near international airports (one of the not-too-lofty benefits Trump talked about re: the Doral).
May we suggest, for example, a place in the president’s home state?
New York City is accustomed to the bustle of international leaders, and there’s plenty of conference space in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
His staff should spend some time on Expedia. Plenty of options that don’t have the word “Trump” above the door.