The White House announced they have chosen the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami to host the upcoming G7 Summit. The announcement from acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney drew bipartisan condemnation and raised questions about whether there was a conflict of interest for Trump to choose one of his own properties. Yet, North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer predictably praised Trump’s move.
Why is this such an issue? The U.S. Constitution emoluments clause prohibits government officials from receiving salaries, fees, or profits from foreign and domestic governments without Congressional approval. Simple comments of approval from a Senator sucking-up doesn’t cut it.
Sen CRAMER on holding the G7 at Trump Doral: “I don’t have any concerns about it other than just politically how it appears.”
“It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency,” he says.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 17, 2019
The argument coming from the White House is that Trump himself won’t profit from his choice to have the diplomatic event at his property. However, holding the summit at Doral resort will force government officials to pay the Trump family to stay at his Florida resort. That includes Trump’s sons, Don Jr. and Eric, who are running the family business.
Last Sunday, Cramer was on CNN calling for an investigation into Hunter Biden because he thought it looked like he was “getting a large paycheck” from his dad’s connections and position in U.S. government. “Well, if it is, then certainly worth investigating whether Hunter Biden used his status as the son of the vice president to fly around the world on Air Force two and gain all kinds of government contracts and — or positions with companies that he has no qualifications to serve for and getting a large paycheck as a result of it.” Quite the turn around in sentiment in just four short days.
The thing is, we all knew this is how it was going to be. Cramer stood on stage next to Trump following an awkward attempt at a hug and pledged his loyalty. If this latest choice is proven to be a violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, Cramer will need to decide if the pledge he took to Trump on stage or the pledge he took at his swearing in is more important.