President Donald Trump seems intent on using his Doral luxury golf resort outside Miami for next year’s G-7 meeting, despite international security concerns and the awful appearance of self-enrichment.
World leaders and U.S. presidents have held these summits in isolated locations that are easy to secure, like Georgia’s Sea Island in 2004 and Camp David in Maryland in 2012.
Trump National Doral presents a very different picture. There would likely be challenges of closing down Miami’s busy international airport and traffic, and of securing a large area around the resort.
Overshadowing all that are the serious problems of Trump using his property as the location. Trump says he doesn’t profit from such decisions, but it’s difficult to see how the thousands of diplomats, world media, staff and onlookers who descend on a G-7 location wouldn’t provide Trump’s reportedly struggling property with a financial boost. Too often, Trump has used his office to spotlight his family business, whether it’s a stop at a golf club overseas or China’s Xi Jinping going to Mar-a-Lago.
This and similar ventures have drawn legal scrutiny for potentially violating the spirit and letter of the law, such as the constitutional ban on emoluments.
There are plenty of more suitable places. Trump’s staff should look for a site that is more secluded and easier to secure for the safety of world leaders. There might even be a few beautiful spots in upstate New York that would be suitable for the event.
Wherever the summit is conducted, certainly the word “Trump” shouldn’t be above the door.