WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Monday that being president has cost him between $2 billion and $5 billion that he would have made if he had continued running his business instead of getting into politics.
But, he told reporters, “If I had it to go it again I would do it in an instant, because who cares, if you can afford it, what difference does it make?”
Trump expressed annoyance at having to reverse his decision to stage the Group of Seven summit in June at his Trump National Doral golf resort in the Miami area.
His plan to have the event at Doral drew sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats who said it gave the impression that he was profiting from being president.
Trump dismissed what he called “this phony emoluments clause,” a line in the U.S. Constitution that prevents the president and lawmakers from profiting from their offices. Critics frequently accuse Trump of violating the emoluments clause.
The president ran a string of resorts around the world before being elected president. His children have largely taken over running the family business.
“Whether I lost $2 billion, $5 billion or less, it doesn’t make any difference. I don’t care,” Trump said. “I’m doing this for the country. I’m doing it for the people.”
Trump had said he would have the G7 summit at Doral without cost to U.S. taxpayers but will now look for other sites.
“I don’t think it’ll be as exciting or as good,” he said.
(Reporting By Steve Holland.)