Donald Trump reverses decision to host G7 summit at his own golf club in Florida

Nick Allen
The Trump National Doral in Florida has seen its profits decline dramatically in recent years - REUTERS

Donald Trump has backed down on a plan to host next year's G7 summit at one of his own golf clubs in Florida.

The US president blamed "irrational hostility" from "crazed Democrats" for the reversal of the decision to hold the event at Trump National Doral Miami.

Mick Mulvaney, his chief of staff, said the president had been "honestly surprised at the level of pushback" to the idea.

Mr Mulvaney added: "At the end of the day, he [Mr Trump] 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, and he was very confident of doing that at Doral."

Mr Trump said the search for another site to host world leaders would begin immediately with Camp David, the government-owned presidential retreat in Maryland, a possibility.

Mick Mulvaney said the president wanted to use Doral to "put on the absolute best show" for world leaders Credit: Michael Reynolds/REX

The president had suggested Doral was the best venue in the United States for the summit, but opponents accused him of "self-dealing" by effectively awarding a major contract to himself.

Mr Trump countered that he had agreed to host the event "at cost".

But critics argued that it would have filled Doral in June, which is low season, so would have brought in extra revenue.

In May, the Washington Post reported that Doral's net operating income had fallen 69 per cent since 2015.

Doral was announced as the G7 venue by Mr Mulvaney on Thursday.

According to Mr Mulvaney it was the president who first recommended that the 900-acre resort be considered.

A White House team then conducted scouting missions to Doral and nine other potential venues, including ones in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, and Utah.

Mr Mulvaney said the advance team concluded that Doral was the "perfect physical location to do this".

Several days of criticism from Democrats, and some Republicans, followed.

Donald Trump speaks to Rory McIlroy during a tournament at Doral in 2016 Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Revealing his rare climbdown Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders.

"It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to Miami International Airport, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building."

Former vice president Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020, said: "Hosting the G7 at Trump's hotel? A president should never be able to use the office for personal gain."

Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said: "This is a bow to reality, but does not change how astonishing it was that a president ever thought this was appropriate, or that it was something he could get away with."