World

Trump calls off plans to host G7 summit at his Florida golf resort

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump abandoned plans late on Saturday to host next year's Group of Seven (G7) summit at his Florida golf resort, after Democrats had decried the selection as evidence of the President misusing his office for personal gain.

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump said he would drop the plan announced on Thursday by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to host the meeting at the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami from June 10 to 12.

Mr Trump cited what he termed "crazed and irrational hostility" from Democrats and the news media in explaining the reversal.

"We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately," he wrote.

The Republican President faces criticism and a number of congressional investigations over his finances and potential conflicts of interest stemming from his real estate business, which he still owns, and an impeachment inquiry into accusations that he pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine.

Mr Trump also sought to emphasise what he said were the site's positive features for hosting a large gathering.

"I thought I was doing something very good for our Country," he wrote on Twitter.

The US Constitution's emoluments clause prohibits government officials from receiving salaries, fees or profits from foreign and domestic governments without congressional approval.

In a statement on Thursday, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler called the announcement "among the most brazen examples yet of the President's corruption".

Mr Nadler said the committee would continue investigating "regarding these matters".

The announcement prompted requests from Democrats for detailed records from the White House to explain why 11 other sites were not chosen and how much taxpayers would pay. - REUTERS

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