Peters joins senators in questioning Trump’s G-7 plans at his resort

    President Donald J. Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Biarritz, France, site of the G7 Summit. | Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead, flickr

    U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) has joined with two other senators to express concern about possible self-dealing with the President Trump administration’s announcement this week that the 2020 G-7 Summit will be held at his Florida resort.

    Sen. Gary Peters at the UAW picket line in Lansing, Oct. 1, 2019 | Laina G. Stebbins

    Peters, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to the White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and Department of Treasury asking how Trump’s National Doral Miami property was selected. They also want to know whether this decision is a misuse of the President’s public office to steer money from American taxpayers and foreign sources to private businesses that benefit him financially.

    Peters is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Wyden serves in that capacity on the Finance Committee and Brown is the top Democrat on the Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee.

    “The President has chosen to host the 2020 G-7 Summit at his private golf resort in Miami. The goal of the G-7 Summit is to encourage cooperation, trade, and dialogue among the world’s leading democracies,” the Senators wrote. “This is another outrageous example of the President using his office to funnel money from American taxpayers and foreign sources into his own pockets.”

    Peters calls on Defense Department to investigate Pence travel

    In the letter, the senators note taxpayer dollars have been directed toward Trump’s properties. Peters last month called for the Department of Defense to investigate reports that the U.S. Air Force increased personnel stays at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, and Vice President Mike Pence stayed at the Trump hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland 175 miles away from his meetings in Dublin.

    A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by Peters and released earlier this year found that the President’s first four trips to Mar-a-Lago alone cost the American taxpayer $13 million.

    Last month, Peters led Wyden, Brown and dozens of their colleagues in introducing the Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating, and Lodging (HOTEL) Actwhich would bar the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at lodging properties owned by the president, vice president and cabinet officials.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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