Next year’s Group of Seven summit is slated to be held in the United States, but the exact location for the meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders is yet to be determined. At this year’s summit in France on Monday, President Trump floated one possibility — his own resort in South Florida.
Speaking to reporters, Trump performed an ad-libbed infomercial for the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort, saying that it’s the odds-on favorite to host next year’s meeting.
“We haven’t found anything that can come close to competing with it,” Trump said of the resort his company purchased in 2012. He touted its proximity to the airport, the number of buildings on site, and the conference facilities. “It’s a great place. It’s got tremendous acreage, many hundreds of acres,” he said.
Later Monday, Trump told reporters that his “people looked at 12 sites” to possibly host the summit but none compared to the Doral.
The Washington Post reports that Trump has long pushed to hold next year’s G7 at the Doral but has seen some internal resistance from people concerned about the ethics of such a decision. The problem is that Trump has never divested from his company, the Trump Organization, meaning he would personally profit from the summit’s coming to the Doral.
He dismissed the concerns speaking to reporters Monday. “In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money,” he said. He added that being president costs him between $3 billion and $5 billion a year, a claim he said he would soon back up with evidence.
It’s no shock to see Trump trying to misdirect government money to his own coffers, and it’s even less shocking to see him doing it to prop up the Doral. The property has struggled since Trump took the White House, the Miami Herald reports:
In a meeting with a magistrate for the Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board in December 2018, a consultant hired by the Trump Organization said the hotel is “severely under-performing.” The consultant cited lower occupancy and room rates at the Doral hotel compared to its competitors and an 18 percent slump in revenue from 2015 to 2017 as reasons to lower the property’s value.
Holding the G7 there next year could be just the thing to turn it around.