By now we know that President Donald Trump is no longer looking to host the G-7 meeting at his Doral resort in Miami in June. However despite what President Trump posted on Twitter midmorning on Saturday “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,” the reason he pulled the meeting from his Florida property was due to GOP Congressional pushback,
Early Saturday morning at Camp David Maryland a group of moderate Republicans met with President Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. The group made it clear to both Mulvaney and later via conference call to the president himself that with the impeachment proceeding coming, along with the Turkey/Syria issues on their plate adding a dust-up over the G-7 at Doral was simply too many battles to fight.
About 45 minutes later President Trump sent the tweet and thus ended the idea of the G-7 coming to Doral. All around Washington, Republican members of Congress breathed a collective sigh of relief. Meanwhile, inside the West Wing of the White House, it was clear Doral was a bad idea in the first place.
Friday, I penned a column on why the handing of the G-7 hosting deal to Doral not only broke the law ( a clear violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which forbids officeholders from benefiting from foreign gifts.) but that it was a politically silly thing to do at this time he can ill afford to test the blind loyalty of moderate Republican’s.
According to both The New York Times and The Hill, New York Congressman and Trump backer, Peter King attended the Camp David meeting and addressed the issue with The Tines saying “I didn’t see it being a big negative, but it certainly wasn’t very positive either.” King added that the group of Republicans said the move “would be an unwelcome distraction.”
A long-time friend of President Trump and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC’s This Week yesterday, that President Trump wanting the G7 at his Doral resort was clearly a bad idea.
“He had no choice,” Christie told host George Stephanopoulos. “It shouldn’t have been done in the first place and it’s a good move to get out of it and get that out of the papers and off the news.”
Christy closed by saying, “I know he loves his properties, and he loves having people to his properties, and he loves showing off their properties, I understand all that, but this was just an unforced error and I’m glad that they fixed it.”
The G-7 to Doral announcement came the same week that President Trump was getting plenty of grief by his own party over the Syria – Kurds issue. In a bipartisan vote last week Congress voted overwhelmingly 354-60 denouncing the action taken by the Trump Administration on Syria and of note voting for the measure was three high ranking Republican members of the House, Minority Leader (R-California) Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip (R-Louisiana) Steve Scalise and GOP Committee Chairwoman (R-Wyoming) Liz Cheney all condemned the action.
Over on the Senate side, two of President Trump’s more loyal supporters took him on in a very open and powerful way on the topic of Syria. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) penned an op-ed slamming Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the country. At the same time South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s closest allies, said Trump’s decision will allow IS to reemerge and added that the president will “be held accountable.”
Graham said Trump’s decision “is against all sound military advice” and that he hopes Trump “will reconsider, stop the bloodshed and reset the table before it’s too late.”
So, while I would love it if it was my column that changed President Trump’s mind about holding the G7 at Doral I don’t think I can take credit for the change of mind. That goes to the Republicans who are fighting for the president on many fronts telling him that while the famed Blue Monster course might be quite a challenge it was not the hill they were willing to die on.
Quick trivia question — Where did the name Doral come from?In 1962 the Doral Country Club was built by Alfred Kaskel and he used his wife’s first name of Dorthy along with his first name of Alfred to do a mashup of the two – hence he name Dor-al.