GOP Blowback Forced Trump U-Turn on Hosting G7 at Resort

'It clearly was an unforced political error'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2019 6:11 AM CDT
Report: GOP Pushback Forced Trump U-Turn on G7 Summit
President Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump blamed "Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility" when he tweeted Saturday that he had abandoned his plan to host the G7 summit at his own resort in Miami—but insiders say it was pushback from Republicans that led to the U-turn. Sources tell the Washington Post that conservative allies told Trump over the weekend that Republican lawmakers already trying to defend the president amid an impeachment inquiry and the controversial Syria withdrawal did not relish having to try to defend a move widely seen as ethically dubious. GOP Rep. Francis Rooney openly criticized the move, saying: "I think that would be better if he would not use his hotel for this kind of stuff."

Trump heard the choice of the Trump National Doral criticized on Fox News on Saturday morning and was later told that moderate congressional Republicans at a Camp David gathering felt he should host the the summit elsewhere, the New York Times reports. "I think there was a lot of concern," says GOP Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma. "I’m not sure people questioned the legality of it, but it clearly was an unforced political error." Trump complained in a tweet Sunday that reports had failed to mention that "NO PROFITS would be taken." Analysts, however—who note that presidents generally just choose the city for a G7 summit, not the hotel—say hosting the summit would have done much to raise the resort's profile. (Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that Trump was "honestly surprised" by the level of pushback.)

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