Donald Trump calls the emoluments clause ‘PHONY’ saying George Washington had a business too as he explodes over being forced to ditch holding the G7 at his Doral resort and claims being president has cost him $5 BILLION
- Donald Trump flew off the handle Monday when reporters again asked about his proposal to hold the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral, Florida resort
- ‘You people with this phony Emoluments Clause,’ Trump said when defending the potential for him to be enriched through his office
- He mentioned that George Washington continued to conduct business when he was president
- Trump made a U-turn Saturday on his using the Trump-branded property for the event
- Abrupt decision came after call to Camp David where middle-of-the-road GOP senators were meeting with acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney
- The ‘consensus’ among that group was that Trump should abandon his plan
- Political moderates could be swing-votes in any impeachment trial that might reach the Senate
- Trump recast the decision on Monday as a response to Democrats and reporters, rather than a political necessity to fend off an impeachment conviction
- Mulvaney said Sunday that he and Trump were surprised at the level of pushback
Donald Trump lashed out as questions were again brought up on Monday surrounding his decision to propose his Florida resort be the site for the 2020 Group of Seven summit.
He lambasted the media and called the emoluments clause ‘phony’ when defending his proposal, which he reversed Saturday, to hold next year’s G7 at a Trump-branded property.
‘You people with this phony Emoluments Clause,’ Trump dismissed while speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting Monday, claiming he doesn’t need to use the presidency to ‘promote’ his business.
The Emoluments Clause is a constitutional provision that prohibits presidents and other members of the federal government from using their office to enrich themselves or their personal businesses.
He also brought up past presidents who have run businesses or engaged in business dealings while president.
‘I don’t know if you know it. George Washington – he ran his business simultaneously while he was president,’ Trump cited.
Donald Trump blasted the emoluments clause as ‘phony’ as he insisted his personal business would not be enriched if the 2020 Group of Seven summit were held at his Doral, Florida resort
Trump defended his person business, by giving a few examples of other presidents who still ran businesses from office – including the first U.S. President George Washington. ‘George Washington, they say, had two desks. He had a presidential desk and a business desk,’ Trump said
WHAT IS THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE?
Also known as the Title of Nobility Clause, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution was created to shield federal officeholders from foreign influences. It also prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility and restricts members of government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress.
It’s the reason that America has no lords, knights or dukes.
Text: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
‘There weren’t too many really rich presidents, but there were a few – they ran their business,’ he continued.
‘George Washington was actually considered a very, very rich man at the time,’ he said. ‘George Washington, they say, had two desks. He had a presidential desk and a business desk.’
George Washington was thought to be richest U.S. president before Trump was elected. Just the value of his estate and plantation in 1799 was worth $1 million, which in 2018 would translate to $20 million.
He had an estimated net worth of $525 million in today’s dollars and owned over 50,000 acres of land. His salary in 1789 was 2 per cent of the total U.S. budget.
‘Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business?’ Trump said in his Monday remarks, inciting his Democratic predecessor. ‘He has a deal with Netflix? When did they start talking about that? That’s only, you know, a couple of examples.’
Trump insisted he would have allowed the G7 to be held at the Trump National Doral Miami resort ‘for nothing,’ and claims it would have been the cheapest and most secure option for the U.S.
‘The Democrats went crazy, even though I would have done it free. Saved the country a lot of money,’ Trump said in a rant to reporters. ‘Then they say, ‘Oh, but you’ll get promotion.’ Who cares? You don’t think I get enough promotion? I get more promotion than any human being that’s ever lived.’
‘I don’t need promotion,’ he continued.
Trump insisted that being president has actually lost him between $2-$5 billion, but said if he could choose, he would do it all over again ‘in an instant.’
‘Who cares? If you can afford it, what difference does it make?’ he said. ‘If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter.’
Trump donates his salary each quarter to support a specific government program.
His company, the Trump Organization, writes a six-figure check to the U.S. Treasury every year equal to what it says is its profit from transactions involving foreign governments. A company source said the Doral G7 would have followed the same guideline.
Trump took his Florida country club off the short list of locations for the G7 after Republican senators who will sit in judgment if he’s impeached said they didn’t like it.
He blamed Democrats and reporters on Monday instead.
‘Doral in Miami would have been the best place to hold the G-7, and free, but too much heat from the Do Nothing Radical Left Democrats & their Partner, the Fake News Media!’ the president tweeted. ‘I’m surprised that they allow me to give up my $400,000 Plus Presidential Salary! We’ll find someplace else!’
The president donates his salary each quarter to support a specific government program. His company, the Trump Organization, writes a six-figure check to the U.S. Treasury every year equal to what it says is its profit from transactions involving foreign governments. A company source said the Doral G7 would have followed the same guideline.
Last week Trump said his Doral resort near Miami, Florida would host the 2020 G7 summit, only to reverse course after hearing that moderate Republican senators – whose impeachment votes he would need to keep his job – wouldn’t back him
‘I think we were all surprised at the level of pushback,’ Mulvaney said of the bipartisan criticism over the potential conflicts of interest with the president the event at one of his properties
The president vented Monday on Twitter, blaming Democrats and the media for forcing him into a decision that he made after hearing moderate Republicans didn’t like it
After watching Fox News Channel luminaries trash his choice on Friday, Trump called Camp David where acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was meeting with middle-of-the-road congressional Republicans on Saturday, for discussions about a range of issues including Syria, trade and impeachment.
The consensus, Mulvaney told him, was that he should cancel his Florida plans, The New York Times reported. The senators in the room were moderates who could be swing votes in any impeachment tally. In order to remove Trump from office, Democrats would need 20 of them to abandon him.
Hours later the president tweeted an announcement: He would find a Plan B.
The group told Mulvaney and other aides that a G7 at Doral ‘would be a distraction,’ according to New York Republican Rep. Peter King. A Senate aide told DailyMail.com that some in the room at Camp David griped that they couldn’t support the president’s play at Trump-branding an international diplomatic meeting.
Mulvaney said the following morning that Trump was genuinely surprised at the intensity of the objections.
‘At the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business,’ He said on Fox News Sunday, ‘and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could, and he was very comfortable doing that at Doral.’
‘I think we were all surprised at the level of pushback,’ he continued. ‘I think it’s the right decision to change and we’ll have to find someplace else and my guess is we’ll find someplace else the media won’t like for another reason.’
When host Chris Wallace pushed back that the president was no longer in hospitality and was now serving as president, Mulvaney dismissed it.
‘Yeah, but it’s his background,’ Mulvaney said, adding, ‘he’s in the hotel business, or at least he was before he was president.’
The White House announced Thursday that Trump sought to host next year’s Group of Seven economic summit of developed world leaders at the Trump National Doral golf resort.
Mulvaney told reporters at the time that the summit would take place at the Trump property on June 10-12, 2020, calling it ‘the perfect physical location to do this.’
He also told reporters in the White House press briefing room Thursday that the move would be ‘vastly cheaper’ than other places and that there should be no concerns that Trump would personally profit from the summit.
‘There’s no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form,’ Mulvaney said.
The announcement received widespread backlash with claims of potential conflicts of interest between the president and his personal business.
Saturday morning, just two days after announcing the summit would be held at the Doral resort, Trump announced that this would not longer be the location for the U.S. hosting world leaders next year.
He blamed the ‘media and democrat crazed and irrational hostility’ for the quick reversal – even though he received criticism even from within his own party.
Trump argued Doral would be ‘vastly cheaper’ than any other location and Mulvaney said the president would not be ‘profiting from this in any way, shape or form’
‘We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!’ Trump said, bemoaning that the White House would ‘no longer consider’ his branded property for the G7.
Trump’s U-turn came just 30 minutes after he tweeted his reasoning for wanting to host the summit on his own grounds.
‘I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,’ he tweeted before the reversal.
‘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,’ he continued.
‘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!’ he concluded.
Mulvaney said that he and Trump discussed the move and the bipartisan hit the president took for the decision to put Doral on the short list.
‘He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback,’ Mulvaney said of the president.
Mulvaney’s defense of the president comes as reports emerge that there was an internal effort in the White House to push out the acting chief of staff – an effort that was put on hold as the impeachment inquiry commenced.
A source familiar with Mulvaney’s thinking said the acting chief of staff is looking for an exit, but other people close with Mulvaney contradict this claim, insisting he does not want to leave.
He has also come under fire for essentially admitting during a press briefing this week that the president set a quid pro quo with Ukraine – the main charge Democrats cite for the impeachment proceedings.
Trump has vehemently denied that he set a quid pro quo and says his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the summer was ‘perfect.’ Zelesnky has also claimed he did not feel pressure or ‘blackmailed’ into probing Biden and his son, Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine.
However, during his news conference Thursday, Mulvaney said the U.S. requested Ukraine assist in the investigation into the handling of the Democratic National Committee server that was hacked in 2016 – and then insinuated that was the reason the administration decided to withhold funds from Ukraine.
‘That’s why we held up the money,’ Mulvaney said Thursday afternoon after listing the 2016-related investigation and Trump’s broader concerns about corruption in Ukraine.
Mulvaney has denied admitting a quid pro quo.
Mulvaney was head of the Office of Management and Budget, a post he took a month after Trump’s inauguration, and has never officially left that role as he assumed the acting position he now holds in the White House.
He took over as acting chief of staff after retired Marine Corps General John Kelly resigned from the post as chief of staff in January of this year.
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