President Donald Trump again brought up Barack Obama’s Netflix deal, grousing that his predecessor didn’t face the same criticism that Trump himself has for his now-scuttled plan to host the G7 summit at the Trump Doral resort.
“Many other presidents, there weren’t too many really rich presidents, but there were a few. They ran their business,” Trump said. “Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business? I’m sure he didn’t even discuss it while he was president. He has to deal with Netflix. When did they start talking about that?”
But there is a difference: Obama’s book and Netflix deals were announced after he left office.
Trump backed away from his plan to host the summit at his resort, blaming Democrats and the media for the uproar, but he still defended the idea on Monday.
Trump suggested that running a business at the same time as serving as president is not unprecedented, pointing to George Washington.
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that the G7 summit would take place at the Trump Doral resort, but that plan quickly came under criticism from Democrats and a number of Republicans. Trump announced on Saturday that they had abandoned those plans and would look for another site.
Hosting the G7 summit at Trump’s resort raised issues of whether it violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits a sitting president from receiving any other payment than a salary from the U.S. and state governments.
Trump dismissed those concerns.
“You people, with this phony Emoluments Clause,” Trump told reporters. “And by the way, I would say that it’s cost me anywhere from two to five billion, and that’s okay, between what I lose and what I could have made. I would have made a fortune, if I just ran my business. I was doing it really well.”
As CNN ran video of Trump’s remarks, it showed a split screen of the Constitution and the emoluments clause.
Trump insisted that he was not trying to use the G7 to promote his own property.
Trump last month suggested that Obama’s book and Netflix deals should be investigated, as he lashed out at Democrats’ claims that he was enriching himself as president.
The Obamas and Netflix have a production deal for documentaries, movies and series.
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