President Trump blamed “Radical Left Democrats” for spreading reports that there were bedbugs at a golf resort he owns in Miami, the same one he pitched as the venue for next year’s G-7 meeting.
“No bedbugs at Doral,” wrote Trump on Twitter Tuesday morning. “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!”
The Miami Herald reported in 2017 that a lawsuit between New Jersey insurance executive Eric Linder and the club had come to a tentative settlement. Linder had sued after waking up during a March 2016 stay at the resort with dozens of bites. According to the Herald, in “a terse one-page report just slipped into the court file, court-appointed mediator Frank Allocca filed a notice that reads ‘an agreement was reached.’ There were no details on what will likely be a confidential deal.”
There is no evidence that Linder’s lawsuit had any ties to the Democratic Party.
#TrumpBedBugs trended on Twitter Monday after Trump pitched his Doral club as the site for next year’s G-7 summit, which is set to be held in the United States. During a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump gave an extended advertisement for the club as a perfect spot for the gathering of world leaders.
“With Doral we have a series of magnificent buildings — we call them bungalows — they each hold from 50 to 70 luxurious rooms, with magnificent views,” said Trump. “We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It’s, like, such a natural.”
Following the president’s comments, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued a statement saying that the G-7 should not be held at a Trump property.
“Under no circumstances should the G-7 be held at Trump’s Doral resort, which would be one of the most egregious examples of corruption and self-dealing in a presidency replete with them,” said Wyden. “Trump is using the office to line his own pockets at the expense of the American people and our standing in the world. Requiring our allies to spend money at the president’s hotel to attend the G-7 would be an insult to them and a violation of our Constitution’s emoluments clause.”
“From my standpoint, I’m not going to make any money,” Trump said Monday when pitching his property. “In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money. I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money.”
A June Washington Post analysis found that Trump’s own visits to his properties generated at least $1.6 million in business for him just in the first six months of 2017 — paid mostly by the government and the Trump campaign — despite concerns that “he was using the power of the presidency to direct taxpayer money into his own pockets.” A lobbyist funded by Saudi Arabia paid for 500 rooms at Trump’s Washington hotel following the 2016 election. Trump has previously hosted world leaders at his properties, launching an April 2017 missile strike against Syria during a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s bedbugs tweet does not seem to be related to the other insect story of the day. Bedbugs trended again on Monday evening after New York Times columnist Bret Stephens took offense at a George Washington University professor comparing him to a bedbug on Twitter. Stephens emailed David Karpf and the university provost, writing, “I would welcome the opportunity for you to come to my home, meet my wife and kids, talk to us for a few minutes, and then call me a ‘bedbug’ to my face.” Stephens, who often touts the importance of free speech and “the right to offend,” was roundly mocked for calling the bedbug joke a “new standard” in online harassment.
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