President Donald Trump was "surprised at the level of pushback" to his decision to hold next year's Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral, Florida golf resort, his acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday.
Mulvaney announced the selection of Trump National Doral near Miami Thursday during a White House news conference. But Democrats and Republicans immediately criticized the plan, prompting a swift backlash. Trump said Saturday he was reversing course and would pick a new location.
The decision to host the diplomatic summit next June at the Trump property prompted concern that the site posed a conflict of interest and could benefit the president financially.
Mulvaney, who said it was "the right decision to change," said, "At the end of the day, you know, 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."
Mulvaney said, "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."
Trump tweeted Saturday, "I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders...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!"
Trump tweeted that the search for another site will continue and could include the possibility of Camp David.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the minority leader, said at an unrelated news conference in Manhattan Sunday that Trump "never should have proposed Doral to begin with."
With Ted Phillips