After facing criticism for his previous plan to host the next G7 Summit at one of his resorts in Miami, President Trump on Monday called the foreign emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution “phony.” Trump told reporters in the White House that he has no obligation to put his businesses in trusts, claiming that George Washington simultaneously ran a business while being president. “You people with this phony emoluments clause... and by the way, I would say that it’s cost anywhere between $2 to $5 billion to be president, and that’s okay,” he said. “I would have made a fortune, if I just ran by business.” He also railed against former President Obama’s media deals that were unveiled after he had left office. “Hey, Obama made a deal for a book—is that running a business? I’m sure he didn’t even discuss it while he was president,” Trump said. “He has a deal with Netflix. When did they start talking about that?”
He also talked specifically about Trump National Doral Miami, which was going to be the site of the next G7 Summit until severe backlash prompted Trump to scrap the plan. “Doral was setting records when I bought it... it was making a fortune (and) all of the sudden people didn’t like it,” Trump said of his Florida hotel property, claiming his business was affected by “politics.” Trump has been the target of multiple emoluments clause lawsuits, which claim that he unconstitutionally profited from his businesses by accepting payments from foreign and domestic governments while he serving as president.