Donald Trump has complained after pulling back his announcement that the next G7 summit of world leaders would be held at his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort, raging that the media and his Democratic opposition concerned about conflict of interest failed to mention that “NO PROFITS would be taken”.
On the Sunday talk show circuit, the president’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended the president's original plan by arguing he is “in the hospitality business” while ex-Republican congressman Justin Amash accused him of treating US troops “as paid mercenaries” by relocating them to Iraq and Saudi Arabia rather than bringing them home from war-torn Syria.
The president lashed out Monday at critics who prompted him to move next year's Group of Seven summit from his private golf club in Florida, claiming he would have hosted it for free and now it will end up costing taxpayers "a fortune."
Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Mr Trump said it would have been the greatest G-7 ever if held at his Doral resort outside Miami, but "Democrats went crazy" with criticisms that he would have violated the "phony" emoluments clause in the Constitution banning presidents from receiving gifts from foreign countries.
"I was willing to do this for free," Mr Trump said Monday, comparing it to his decision not to take his presidential salary. "It will cost a fortune for the country."
He brushed aside the criticism that hosting the summit would have been one big promotion for his brand.
Mr Trump said: "You don't think I get enough promotion? I get more promotion than any human being that's ever lived."
The president reversed course Saturday on hosting the G-7 at Doral after Republicans joined Democrats in raising alarm.
His acting chief of staff said that the president had realised that "it looks lousy" to steer business to his own property.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton has meanwhile posted a ruthless Cold War-era parody of his letter to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, in which Mr Trump had begged Mr Erdogan not to carpet bomb America’s Kurdish allies by imploring: “Don’t be a tough guy, don’t be a fool!”
Mr Mulvaney said last week that Doral was "far and away" the best venue because of its location near the Miami airport and separate buildings to host each country's delegation.
He listed more than a half dozen states visited in the screening process, including Tennessee, North Carolina, Hawaii and Utah. But convention, economic development and tourism officials in several of those states said they were unaware of any visits, and some didn't even know their state was in the running.
Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our live blog to load