Just wondering what was the real reason behind the HuffPost front-page story “Caving To Pressure, Trump Cans Plans To Hold G-7 At Trump Doral” and I came up with a simple one: Trump didn’t want to risk Senate Republicans voting to approve the House resolution which would have denied federal funding for the G-7 if it was held at a Trump property.
Here’s the press release from Rep. Lois Frankel (D, FL)
Washington, October 18, 2019 |
Bicameral Legislation Introduced Blocking Trump’s Doral Corruption
Washington, DC – Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21), Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (MS-2), and Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) introduced the Trump’s Heist Undermines the G-7 (THUG) Act, following the announcement that President Trump’s Miami resort will be the site of the next Group of Seven (G-7) summit. A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The G-7 is a group of the seven largest advanced economies in the world. Each year, G-7 heads of state and accompanying delegations meet for a summit to discuss economic policies and pressing international matters. Past G-7 summits have cost upwards of $40 million.
On October 17, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced President Trump decided to host the 2020 G-7 Summit at the Trump National Doral Miami resort, and that the Administration would not share with Congress relevant documents that demonstrate how they reached this decision.
The legislation would prohibit funding for the G-7 Summit to be held at the Trump National Doral Miami. Additionally, it requires the President to submit to Congress any documents related to his decision to host the G-7 Summit at his property.
“Mr. Trump is unashamed of his corruption,” said Rep. Frankel. “He is abusing the office of the Presidency and violating law by directing millions of dollars of American and foreign money to his family enterprises by holding an important meeting of world leaders at his Doral resort.”
“The prospect that Trump Administration would set aside the Constitution to line the President’s pockets by choosing to host the upcoming G-7 Conference to prop up one the President’s failing properties is enormously troubling. I thank Congresswoman Frankel for introducing this timely legislation. We need to get to the bottom of how the decision to host this National Security Special Event at one of the President’s resorts was made and whether President’s financial interests may have outweighed homeland security concerns,” said Homeland Security Chairman Thompson.
“I am deeply concerned about President Trump’s priorities. Rather than focus on the American people, he seems to be busy padding his wallet with taxpayer and foreign money. The federal government isn’t his personal piggy bank nor should it be the promotional arm of the Trump Organization. The announcement that the next G7 Summit will be held at his Doral Miami resort is a brazen example of the corruption and self-dealing that has characterized this administration. I believe this is a direct abuse of the president’s power and an emoluments clause violation. Beyond that, no public official should take any action suggesting an improper motive, and this has impropriety written all over it. The THUG Act would force the Administration to turn over documents on how a Trump property was chosen and prevent federal funds from being spent at the President’s Doral Miami resort to host the G7 Summit,” said Rep. Cohen.
“Donald Trump seems to have lost all shame in brazen self-enrichment— but Congress must stop him from using the Presidency to line his pockets. His contempt for the Constitution and American people seems boundless in profiting from his office through payments from foreign governments. Our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves. Congress must act to stop this plain craven abuse of power and corruption,” said Senator Blumenthal.
“Once again, Donald Trump is using the office of the presidency and our relationships with some of our closest allies to enrich himself. The founding fathers worried about perks flowing to a corrupt president, but they could have never dreamt of corruption this brazen,” said Senator Whitehouse.
For the full text of the bill, click here.
I would think that had Trump not changed his mind the section saying that the bill could be called “Trump’s Heist Undermines the G-7 Act” or the THUG Act” would have been removed from the final version.
A similar bill sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT), and Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-R.I), was set to be introduced in the Senate.
I think Trump was told that the House bill would have passed and that had it gone to the Senate it would have put many GOP senators on the spot and that enough might have been inclined to vote for it for it to pass. This would have amounted to a micro-impeachment and I think more than anything he wanted to avoid the humiliation of such a loss.
So far after last night’s tweet blaming the “Media & Democrat Crazed Irrational Hostility” for the change, there hasn’t been a peep of a tweet on the subject from Trump.
I think we will see that this humiliation will make itself shown in an escalation of Trump’s hostility levels over the next few days. He will experience this on a visceral level as one of his biggest defeats. I expect him to lash out at real and perceived enemies. He may very well blame someone else against all evidence to the contrary for the idea of using Doral as the venue for G-7.
I think the likely candidate for firing is Mike Mulvaney, the frontman for the G-7 announcement, if only because he’s outlived his usefulness.
Here’s another little interesting tidbit:
Note that “During his radio show, Sean Hannity, who speaks with the President on a nearly nightly basis, asked (re. the quid pro quo comment), “What is Mulvaney even talking about? I just think he’s dumb, I really do. I don’t even think he knows what he’s talking about. That’s my take on it.”