A newly released email shows President Donald Trump’s private golf resort near Miami was not among the original sites to be considered to host a major international summit next year.
Trump had claimed in August that his Trump National Doral had emerged as a top contender for the Group of Seven summit after Secret Service and other officials visited various locations. But an internal Secret Service email obtained and released Friday by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shows otherwise.
According to the July 12 email, which the Washington Post first reported on, agents were told to add Trump’s resort after they had arrived at a list of four finalists.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Secret Service declined comment, citing “operational security reasons.”
The email references the “the original 10 site surveys we conducted at the end of May/beginning of June” and said: “Yesterday was the first time we put eyes on this property,” meaning Doral. The author of the email noted that Trump has visited the location in the past and added - without elaboration - that the property presents “some challenges.”
In announcing Doral as the site for the June 10-12 summit, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney called it “the best place” to host the annual meeting of the leaders of France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Britain, Italy and the United States.
Trump first floated the idea of Doral as G-7 host in August, and said he wasn’t the only one pushing for the south Florida resort as a venue. He said the Secret Service and the military had been visiting various sites and appeared to have formed a consensus about Doral.
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"They went to places all over the country and they came back and they said, 'This is where we'd like to be,'" Trump said in France at the conclusion of this year’s G-7 summit. "It's not about me. It's about getting the right location."
Two days after Mulvaney’s Oct. 17 announcement that the summit would be held at Doral, Trump abruptly dropped the plan following accusations that he was using the presidency for personal enrichment by attempting to have one of his businesses host the gathering.
A new site has not been announced.
CREW said it requested records about the prospect of hosting the G-7 at Doral in late August and sued for the records in October after receiving nothing from the State Department or the Secret Service.