For the past 40 years, every president has placed his personal investments and assets in a blind trust while in the White House, or has sold everything and held cash equivalents. This was a norm that was respected by presidents of both parties. We are now seeing the natural and very serious consequences of President Donald Trump's decision to maintain ownership of his various business enterprises.
Now, the White House has announced that the G-7 conference will be held at the Trump Doral golf resort, a property which President Trump owns and is currently operated by the Trump Organization.
The G-7 decision fits a pattern of this White House being unable to distinguish between operating the functions of government – like foreign policy – from President Trump’s personal interests. This massive contract, which President Trump awarded to his businesses, means that both U.S. taxpayer money and foreign government funds will flow into the Trump family bank accounts. President Trump is currently involved in lawsuits alleging violations of the constitutional ban on receiving emoluments from foreign governments. His decision to host the G-7 at his resort adds to the specter of those violations.
Foreign leaders already routinely decide to spend money at Trump properties, seemingly as a way to curry favor with the president, but this is the first time Trump will effectively force foreign leaders to do so.