German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday sidestepped a question about President Trump‘s decision to host next year’s Group of Seven (G-7) Summit at his Miami-area golf resort, The Washington Post reports.
Asked about the decision, Merkel paused before responding: “This is a decision taken by the American president.”
“I haven’t had time to deal with this yet. We will take a close look at his invitation, and my intention is to attend the summit,” she continued.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced Thursday that Trump would host next year’s summit at Trump National Doral, a resort he owns near Miami. Mulvaney defended the decision, saying that officials considered a number of locations before settling on what they determined was the best choice.
“We thought of the 12 places that we looked at… this was by far and away the best choice,” Mulvaney said.
The move immediately sparked controversy with Democrats and watchdog groups saying that Trump was seeking to profit off the presidency by bringing world leaders and their business to one of his properties.
Trump critics said it would violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which states that a president cannot receive payments from foreign leaders or governments.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cited the clause in a tweet on the decision.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 17, 2019
According to the Post, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a more forceful response when asked about whether it was appropriate to spend government funds at Trump’s property.
“Not at all,” Tusk, who is leaving his post at the end of the year, said.