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Much of the event seemed about self-validation

You people with this phony emoluments clause,” he said, dismissing concerns that hosting international leaders at the Trump National Doral Miami resort would have violated the constitutional ban on presidents accepting gifts or money from foreign governments.

He batted back questions about whether his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria and the ensuing Turkish military offensive led to the release of Islamic State fighters being guarded by the Kurds. And he cited a loud cheer from a rally crowd in Texas to back his decision to remove the U.S. forces.

“I’m the one who did the capturing,” Trump, who avoided military service with a bone spurs diagnosis, said of Islamic State militants. “I’m the one who knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.” as Trump’s allies describe a presidency under siege – and a president frustrated with an onslaught of criticism.

“I’m very good at real estate,” he said, without being asked about his real estate prowess. For several minutes, he used the White House setting to talk up his resort in Florida while defending himself against claims that he uses the presidency to help his properties.

“It would have been the best G-7 ever,” he said, now saying he would have held it “for free.”

Critics charging that the meeting would have offered a high promotional value for Trump’s business was also a canard, according to the president.


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