Jeramey Jannene

Trump Picks Camp David Over Milwaukee

G7 summit to be held at Presidential retreat, not downtown Milwaukee site Barrett offered.

By - Dec 6th, 2019 02:47 pm
2018 G7 Summit participants, including President Donald Trump. Image from Japan's Cabinet Public Relations Office.

2018 G7 Summit participants, including President Donald Trump. Image from Japan’s Cabinet Public Relations Office.

President Donald Trump has opted to host world leaders in the Maryland countryside instead of downtown Milwaukee.

“I think it’s been more or less announced, we’re gonna do it at Camp David,” said Trump this week of the Group of Seven (G7) summit. The conference, which includes the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, United States and European Union, is scheduled for June 10th through 12th next summer.

Camp David, controlled by the U.S. Navy, is designated the President’s retreat. Located about 70 miles north of the White House, the approximately 125-acre wooded site has been used for everything from peace talks to reviewing plans for the invasion of Normandy.

Mayor Tom Barrett had submitted a letter to the Trump administration offering to host the summit in advance of the Democratic National Convention scheduled to take place in Milwaukee in July 2020. “It makes a lot of sense,” said Barrett of leveraging the security plan in place for the convention.

“I want world leaders to see how international trade practices can affect local economies like Milwaukee’s,” said Barrett. “Even more importantly, I want to tell Milwaukee’s story. We’re a community that is changing, reinventing our economy with innovation, investment and technology.”

Trump created controversy in October when his administration announced the summit would be held at Trump National Doral Miami resort in Florida. The President tweeted a change of plans in less than 48 hours after opposition emerged from both parties, but Trump blamed the reversal on Democrats and the media. The President said he would have hosted the event for “cost,” without detailing on this would work.

Trump’s latest choice mirrors one made by President Barack Obama to use the camp to host the 2012 G8 summit. The summit was originally planned to take place in Chicago before a NATO conference, but was relocated away from the military conference to placate Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader did not attend the relocated summit, but previously visited Camp David in 2003 when George W. Bush was President.

Russia was expelled from the then-G8 in 2014 for annexing Crimea from Ukraine.

Don’t expect Trump to be spotted enjoying the scenery at the Presidential retreat during the summit. He told the press in 2017, before visiting the site, “you know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.”

During his time in the White House, Trump has spent most of his vacation time at Mar A Lago, a country club he owns in Florida, and a golf club he owns in New Jersey. Trips to those properties require extra security, while Camp David is protected year-round.

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