The Republican National Committee will reportedly hold its winter meeting at President Donald Trump’s Doral golf resort in Florida, again mixing political events with the president’s private business.
The RNC did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, though it told both news organizations that the contract to hold the meeting at Doral was signed in March.
Trump attempted to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit of world leaders at the resort before bipartisan backlash led him to cancel the plan in October. Hosting the event at the Doral resort meant the president would have used one of the most important gatherings of world leaders to benefit his personal dealings. Trump has not chosen a new site yet for the G-7 summit.
Political events at Trump properties have repeatedly occurred during the Republican’s presidency. The president alleges that he does not personally profit from the resorts because he promised when taking office to separate himself from his family business, the Trump Organization. But he continues to own and profit from the company ― which operates the resorts and hotels ― through a trust he created after winning the 2016 election.
Personally profiting from political events at Trump properties would result in the president violating at least one of two of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. One of the clauses prohibits any federal officer from receiving payments from a foreign entity, while the other prohibits the president from getting payment outside of his salary from either the federal government or a state government.
The RNC spent a total of $1.3 million at Trump properties during the president’s first two years in office. The Trump campaign spent an additional $1.6 million, and nearly 120 other Republican candidates and committees spent an additional $1.4 million, according to a HuffPost analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.
The first GOP meeting at Doral was in the spring of 2018, when attendees brought in about $630,000 in revenue for Trump’s company, according to the Post’s review of campaign-finance records. The RNC held a fundraiser this summer at Doral, where lunch had a six-figure ticket price that likely brought in several million dollars for the party and Trump’s campaign.
GOP spokesman Michael Ahrens defended the decision to hold events at Trump properties, telling the Post on Thursday that the media “is obsessed with our spending … and has covered it ad nauseum.”
“As we have stated multiple times, we continue to hold events at [Trump properties] because they have fantastic service and secure spaces that fit our needs,” Ahrens told the newspaper.
How much the president actually profits from the properties is unclear, as Trump refuses to make his tax returns public.