Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Donald Trump was “honestly surprised at the level of pushback” on plans to host next year’s G-7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.
Democrats and some Republicans, as well as government watchdogs, decried the administration’s decision to award the event to one of the president’s properties. Critics rejected Mulvaney’s claim that Doral had been selected as the “perfect” location after an exhaustive search. Many, including former White House officials, said it had the appearance of impropriety and others said it was a violation of the Constitution.
Trump backed down in the wake of the criticism and declared the event would not be held at his resort “based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”
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Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that “we are all surprised at the level of pushback” and that it was “the right decision to change.”
“We’ll have to find someplace else. And my guess is we’ll find someplace else that the media won’t like either for another reason,” he said.
Mulvaney said Trump “saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put on the absolute best show.”
“At the end of the day, you know, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business,” Mulvaney explained.
“He’s the president of the United States,” host Chris Wallace replied.
“Yes, but that’s his background. It’s like, I used to be in the real estate business,” Mulvaney said. He tried to get Wallace, the son of “60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace, to relate by asking him what he did “before you were in the media.”
“Nothing. That’s all I’ve ever done,” Wallace said.
“But he wanted to put on a show. He wanted to take care of folks,” Mulvaney said. “He’s in the hotel business, or at least he was before he was the president.”
Wallace asked Mulvaney if Trump understood that at the very least, it was a bad choice in terms of appearance.
“Well, I think he knows. He thinks people think it looks lousy,” Mulvaney said.
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