President Donald Trump listens during a White House cabinet meeting in Washington on July 16, 2019.
Leah Millis | Reuters
On Monday, President Donald Trump spoke to reporters about "this false Fees clause", while rejecting criticism of his now canceled plan to host the next Group of Seven summit at his own Miami golf resort.
Trump, speaking at length to the press during a White House cabinet meeting, ignored this constitutional clause by suggesting that his predecessor, Barack Obama, may have secured business while in office.
"Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business?" Trump said, before adding sarcastically, "I'm sure he didn't even argue while he was president. Yes."
The Emoluments Clause states that "No Person who holds a position of Profit or Trust under them shall, without the consent of Congress, accept any gift, Emolument, Cabinet or Title of any kind from any foreign King, Prince, or State. "
Obama "has a deal with Netflix," Trump added. "When did they start talking about it?" There is no evidence that Obama was negotiating personal business while in office. The New York Times first reported Obama talks with Netflix on March 2018.
Trump went on: "George Washington is said to have two tables. He had a presidential and a business table. I don't think you have this false Emoluments clause – and by the way, I'd say it cost me anywhere from two to five." billion dollars to be president. That's fine. "
There is no evidence that Trump lost billions in becoming president. He has refused to release his tax returns and is currently struggling with several lawsuits with state and federal authorities who are trying to acquire copies of his financial records. Unlike other modern presidents, Trump did not completely shed his business interests by taking office. His sons, Eric and Donald Jr., continue to run the Trump Organization.
The decision to host the upcoming G-7 summit at the Trump National Doral Miami, unveiled Thursday by interim White House chief Mick Mulvaney, was immediately met with fiery condemnations from Democrats and ethics experts. Even some moderate Republicans reacted negatively.
The decision was dismissed on Saturday night.