One of the things that Donald Trump is notable for is the way he acts on wrong-headed impulses and then his reaction to criticisms of them. His tendency is to double down, to lie and make up stuff to support his earlier decisions, since his whole mode of operation is to give his followers the impression that his judgment is infallible and that any fault lies with his critics. Given that he and his family are grifters who see nothing wrong with using their positions for private gain, I was not surprised that he decided that the next G7 meeting that the US is hosting would be held at his own Doral resort in Miami. It would be a huge windfall for the property that has had declining revenues since 2015.
This kind of blatant self-interest is what grifters do. Of course, there was a storm of protest but I expected Trump to shrug it off as being merely the carping of haters and go ahead anyway, since he thinks that his base won’t care. So I was surprised to hear this morning that he had backed down and that they would now look for another venue.
Donald Trump has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over plans to host the next G7 meeting at his own luxury resort, following a political outcry.
The US president announced in a Saturday night tweet that he would seek an alternative venue to host world leaders next June.
The move represented a rare admission of defeat by Trump, who typically digs in and fights to defend every controversial statement and policy.
Though the initial floating of the idea in August prompted widespread expressions of concern, on Sunday Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, saidthe president was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback” his decision generated this week.
To an incredulous response from his interviewer, Mulvaney said Trump “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business”.
Even in his concession, Trump complained bitterly that he thought he was “doing something very good for our country” by choosing the Trump National Doral, near Miami, to host G7 leaders.
Trump still considers himself to be in the hospitality business? Then who is serving as president?
Of course, Trump said that the media and Democrats had shown “crazed and irrational hostility” to his decision but that has not stopped him before. So why did Trump back down this time? The only reason that I can think of is that with impeachment looming, even his own lawyers must have warned him that this action, which was essentially a lucrative contract awarded to himself by himself, would clearly violate the emoluments clause of the US constitution and would be guaranteed to be added to any articles of impeachment and indeed may end up as the main one, since the self-dealing would be undeniable.
In general, it has been yet another terrible week for Trump, attacked even by Republicans for his capitulation to Turkey and his abandonment of the Kurds, his losses in the courts, and the admission by his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that there indeed had been a quid pro quo on Ukraine, something that he clumsily and implausibly tried to walk back after it was pointed out that he had basically undercut the defense of trump and his supporters.