'No bedbugs at Doral': Trump defends Florida club he offered as site of next year's G-7

In 2017, the resort settled a lawsuit with a business traveler who claimed he was bitten by bedbugs.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump at news conference in Biarritz, France, after the G-7 summit on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images

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By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that his golf resort near Miami does not have bedbugs, a defense that comes a day after he promoted the club as a possible site for next year's Group of Seven summit.

"No bedbugs at Doral," the president wrote of the 800-acre Trump National Doral Miami. "The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!"

It was unclear which Democrats the president was referring to, but the hashtag "#TrumpBedBugs" had surged earlier on Twitter after users resurfaced a 2016 lawsuit involving allegations of bedbugs at the South Florida club.

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Eric Linder, a New Jersey insurance executive, sued Trump's resort after claiming he woke up with dozens of bites while staying there in March 2016. The resort and Linder settled in a confidential agreement in 2017, The Miami Herald reported. In an initial response to the suit, the Herald reported that Doral said Linder "conducted himself so carelessly and negligently that his conduct was the sole proximate cause or contributing cause" to the bug bites.

Florida authorities found more than 500 health-code violations at the resort from 2013 to 2018, the Daily Beast reported, citing state health records and research compiled by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.

Before departing the G-7 in France on Monday, Trump promoted the idea of hosting next year's G-7 summit at Doral, extolling the amenities of his club and insisting he would not profit off the venture.

"From my standpoint, I'm not going to make any money," Trump said at a news conference. "I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money."

"With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent rooms," Trump added. "We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It's like such a natural. We wouldn't even have to do the work that they did here, and they've done a beautiful job."

The idea of the president hosting a summit of foreign leaders at one of his properties drew criticism and allegations that Trump was, in fact, seeking to profit off the presidency.

"This is a clear violation of the emoluments clause if he accepts any money from foreign governments for anything at the resorts," tweeted Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement, "Under no circumstances should the G-7 be held at Trump’s Doral resort, which would be one of the most egregious examples of corruption and self-dealing in a presidency replete with them."