'Not nice!': Trump denies rumors of bedbugs at resort he's promoting for G7

Edward Helmore
Photograph: Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has reacted angrily to what he called “false and nasty” rumors that his Miami golf club – the same club he is enthusiastically promoting as the location for the next G7 meeting of global leaders – has a problem with bloodsucking bedbugs.

“No bedbugs at Doral. The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!,” Trump tweeted.

The rumors appear to stem from a 2016 lawsuit alleging bedbug infestation at the Trump National Doral brought by the New Jersey insurance executive Eric Linder, 63.

Linder claimed in court papers that he woke at the resort’s $300-a-night Jack Nicklaus-themed villa to discover, the complaint said, “welts, lumps and marks over much of his face, neck, arms and torso”. Photographs appeared to back up Linder’s claim.

Doral’s management hit back, claiming Linder “conducted himself so carelessly and negligently that his conduct was the sole proximate cause or contributing cause” for the insects’ attack.

The club reportedly settled the lawsuit.

Reports about the case resurfaced on social media Monday after Trump touted the resort’s charms at the G-7 summit in France. But by Monday night, the hashtag “#TrumpBedBugs” was trending on Twitter.

The bedbug controversy did not discourage Trump from promoting his property for the next G7 even in an apparent violation of rules against profiteering from the presidency.

But the president claimed he won’t profit off the event. “In my opinion I’m not going to make any money,” Trump said. “I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money.”

The president also claimed aides had toured the country in search of a more suitable location and come up empty. “They went to places all over the country and they came back and said, ‘This is where we’d like to be,’ ” Trump said.

Trump’s resort is reported to be struggling, reports the Miami Herald, and members who resigned their membership after Trump won the presidency claim they are waiting to get their deposits back.

But one piece of good news: the property, for which Trump reported income of $76m in 2018, up from $75m in 2017, has not been officially cited for bedbug violations.