WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at Democrats and the media after criticism prompted him to cancel his plan to hold a meeting for leaders of major industrialized countries at one of his properties in Florida.
"You people with this phony emoluments clause," Trump said to reporters during a Cabinet meeting Monday. The Nobility Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9) is intended to prevent federal officeholders from receiving any type of compensation from foreign governments to avoid a corrupting influence.
"It doesn't matter if you're rich," said Trump, brushing aside such constitutional concerns. The Trump administration's announcement last Thursday that next year's Group of Seven summit would be held at the Trump Doral resort ran into an immediate backlash from lawmakers, including Republicans.
"The Democrats went crazy, even though I would have done it (for) free," said Trump, who announced late Saturday he was dropping the idea. "Best location, right next to the airport" in Miami.
Critics argued even if Trump's property was willing to provide rooms and services "at cost," as announced by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, it would still have amounted to the president profiting from his public office to benefit his private business.
"Everybody in the G-7 would have had their own building," explained Trump to reporters. "It would have been the greatest G-7 ever."
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