On Thursday, Donald Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, seemed to admit that the administration had engaged in at least one impeachable offense when asking the Ukrainian president to investigate the president's Democratic rivals. Mulvaney told reporters at the White House that the U.S. demands quid pro quos in foreign policy "all the time," and people who have problems with that should "get over it."
At that same press conference, Mulvaney also delivered another White House announcement that spelled a potentially huge legal headache for the administration: Trump had decided that the next G7 summit would be held at Trump National Doral near Miami. The annual summit represents the gathering of leaders from the seven biggest economies in the world—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—as well as aides, business leaders, and security. Mulvaney told reporters that the presidential retreat Camp David, frequently used for international summits, was insufficient, and claimed that Trump wouldn't profit from awarding the contract to one of his own properties. "I think the president has pretty much made it very clear since he got here that he doesn’t profit from being here. He has no interest in profit from being here," Mulvaney said.
As The Washington Post reports, Trump's Doral property is struggling financially, and the G7 would have brought thousands of guests there during the off-season. Jerry Nadler, Democratic congressman from New York and head of the House Judiciary Committee, called it "among the most brazen examples yet of the president’s corruption," according to The New York Times.
On Saturday, Trump abruptly reversed course, announcing on Twitter that he was doing so because of "the Hostile Media and their Democratic Partners." Even while walking back his earlier decision, Trump continued to promote the Doral resort:
I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!
Trump then interrupted his explanation to retweet an eight-minute-long video of Fox News's Jeanine Pirro denouncing attempts to impeach him. Half an hour later, he was back on track, and he undercut Mulvaney's claim that Camp David wasn't equipped for the summit.
....Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!
Despite Trump's claiming he made the decision to appease "Crazed and Irrational" Democrats, several Republicans also joined them in condemning, or at least declining to support, the president's decision. Mike Simpson of Idaho told the Post, "They should have known what the kickback is going to be on this, that politically he’s doing it for his own benefit." According to AP reporter Zeke Miller, Mulvaney said, "He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback." He added, talking about the president of the United States, "At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."
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Originally Appeared on GQ