Donald Trump’s style is to make the political personal. And in his case, the personal means business. Properties like the Gleneagles Hotel and the Schloss Elmau, where the G7/G8 have earlier resorted to, have yielded ground to the rather unsung Trump National Doral in Florida. In the midst of an impeachment inquiry, Donald Trump is yet again testing the limits of presidential impropriety by promising to hold the 2020 G7 summit on his own property. And once more, perhaps, he will find those limits to be quite springy and giving, though the Democrats have already raised an outcry about corruption.
The Doral golf club is said to be the least financially viable property in the Trump empire. It has never hosted anything bigger than a Republican convention, but the president insists that it has what it takes. Security for so many heads of state could be problematic, too, because while Trump suggests that its proximity to an international airport is a convenience, a sudden deviation in the flight path of a landing flight can give the troopers the willies. It happened on 9/11, with the plane that targeted the Pentagon.
Past US presidents have always been careful to keep their public and private affairs separate, to preempt accusations of illicit benefit. But Trump believes that when you tee off, it’s fine to do stuff that isn’t quite cricket. If anyone protests, just do it again. When he was accused of crossing a line in a call to Kiev, he just did the same thing publicly in a communication to Beijing. Now, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvane says that Trump knows of “folks who will never get over the fact that it’s a Trump property”. But he will persist. Because in the end, he knows, it’ll be great.