Mick Mulvaney on Sunday justified President Donald Trumps decision to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit at his golf club and resort in Doral, Florida by saying Trump continues to view himself as a real estate mogul.

“At the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could, and he was very comfortable doing that at Doral,” the acting White House chief of staff said on Fox News Sunday.

On Saturday, Trump reversed the decision regarding Doral — which was announced on Thursday — after lawmakers from both parties condemned the move as a blatant conflict of interest because the president could profit from hosting the G7. The president said his administration would keep searching for a new place to hold next year’s meeting between leaders of the world’s seven largest economies, and cited Camp David as a potential new location for the summit.


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“I think we were all surprised at the level of pushback,” Mulvaney added Sunday on Fox News. “I think it’s the right decision to change and we’ll have to find someplace else and my guess is we’ll find someplace else the media won’t like for another reason.”

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace responded to Mulvaney by noting that since Trump is now president, he should not be working simultaneously as a hotel executive.

“Yeah, but it’s his background,” Mulvaney countered. “He’s in the hotel business, or at least he was before he was president,” he added before saying Trump is aware many people believe his decision to host the G7 at his resort in Miami “looks lousy.”

Trump had previously cited the vast acreage and indoor space available at Doral as one of the primary reasons why the resort would be a good site to host the G7. He reiterated this in a tweet on Saturday in which he lamented the need to walk back his decision and claimed the summit would have come “at ZERO COST to the USA.”

Many legal experts also voiced concern that Trump could potentially violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officials from receiving cash or gifts from foreign governments.

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