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Trump’s struggling golf resort in Florida to host G7 summit despite conflict of interest fears

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The next G7 summit will be held at Donald Trump's own Doral resort in Florida despite concerns over conflicts of interest, the White House has announced.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced the decision on Thursday during a press briefing at the White House while defending the move and anticipating criticism about hosting the major summit at the president’s private business property. He said the meeting would take place from 10-12 June.

Mr Mulvaney said he was “sceptical” about hosting the event at the Doral property and that he “gets the criticism” surrounding the move.

Still, he said “the president has been very clear that he does not profit” by hosting world leaders and other political events at his properties.

The acting chief of staff also suggested Mr Trump was the one to suggest his Doral property to members of a team who were seeking out potential venues to host the summit across the country.

EPA
EPA

Mr Trump said during the last summit in Biarritz, France that the next G7 summit would be held at his property while insisting he would not personally profit from the resort’s selection.

The G7 countries take it in turn to stage the summit, often choosing locations that show off areas of natural beauty.

Mr Trump said the Florida resort was a perfect choice, both due to its size and the fact it was just a five-minute drive from Miami airport.

“They love the location of the hotel, they also like the fact is it right next to the airport for convenience. And it is Miami, Doral, Miami, so it is a great area,” he said during this year’s summit in the French coastal town.

He said a final decision had yet to be taken at the time, but added: “We haven’t had anything that could even come close to competing with it, especially when you look at the location.”

In a news conference later that day, Mr Trump said he would not directly benefit from hosting the G7 at his golf resort, saying: “From my standpoint, I’m not going to make any money. In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money.”

Mr Trump has attended three G7 summits, in Italy, Canada and France.

On each occasion, the meeting has been held far from any airport that can take his Air Force One plane, meaning he has had to be shuttled in by helicopter or by a smaller plane.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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