White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said President Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback” against his widely condemned decision to host the 2020 G-7 summit at one of his golf resort properties, adding that the president still “considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”
Mulvaney’s remark came just a day after Trump reversed his decision to hold the G-7 summit at Trump National Doral in Florida after bipartisan outrage from lawmakers and ethics watchdog groups.
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“He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback. At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, best visit that he possibly could, and he was very comfortable doing that at Doral,” Mulvaney said on on “Fox News Sunday,” apparently referencing Trump’s work as a real estate mogul.
Fox News host Chris Wallace pushed back, saying: “You say he considers himself to be in the hospitality business. He’s the president of the United States.”
“But that’s his background,” Mulvaney replied. “It’s like I used to be in the real estate business. I don’t know what you used to do before you were in media…. He wanted to put on a show. He’s in the hotel business.”
Asked if Trump understood that the optics looked “lousy,” Mulvaney insisted the administration could have put on an “excellent” G-7 at Trump’s Miami-area resort.
Trump announced late Saturday that he would no longer consider his Doral resort as a viable option for the event.
“Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020,” Trump tweeted. “We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”