Wow! That was a wild 72 hours in the world of Donald J. “King of Hospitality” Trump.
He announced plans, via Twitter, to play host to the G7 summit of industrialized nations at his Doral Country Club in south Florida, a decision that clearly violates the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution.
Then he announces, again via Twitter, that he’s changed his mind. He won’t host the summit there. He’ll look for another suitable location.
Does that make it all better now? Is the president clear of impeachable offenses? Uhh, no. He’s not.
The Emoluments Clause bans the president from benefiting from his public office. Hosting the G7 summit at Doral would have lined his pockets considerably, given that he never divested himself of his many business interests after becoming president. There are the other matters still to be considered, though, regarding probable impeachment by the House of Representatives. We’ll get to those another time.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went on Fox News this morning to say Trump was “surprised” at the pushback. No surprise there. Trump’s ignorance of constitutional matters is well-known and well-chronicled.
Mulvaney said Trump still considers himself in the “hospitality business” and wants to put on the best show possible for the foreign dignitaries. But he’s the president of the United States, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace reminded him. Mulvaney said hospitality is part of Trump’s “background.” Yeah. Let’s move on.
The United States of America is full of resorts that could play host to this event. Here’s a thought: How about Camp David, the official presidential retreat tucked in the Maryland mountains not far from the D.C. hustle and bustle? Sure, Trump has said he considers Camp David to be a dump. However, it has been the site of many important gatherings.
What’s more, it is a publicly owned site reserved for presidents to relax and, yes, to welcome foreign dignitaries. It also has not a single thing to do with Donald Trump’s business empire.
Trump got the pushback he deserved when he made his initial Doral decision. No, it wasn’t, as he said on Twitter, the result of what he described as “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”
It was based on Donald Trump’s utter incompetence and his expressed belief that he can do whatever the hell he wants, even if it flouts the U.S. Constitution.