Bedbug victim 'outraged' as Trump denies infestation at Miami resort
A New Jersey insurance man who sued and then settled over an itchy infestation at the "tremendous" resort where Trump hopes to host world leaders next year said he's "outraged" by the president's attempt to deny bedbug reports.
Eric Linden is bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the settlement of his 2016 lawsuit -- but he was plenty unhappy with Trump's tweets Tuesday deriding the claims about his Trump National Doral Miami resort.
"I'm outraged by it," said Linden, 66, who lives in Fort Lee.
Hours earlier, Trump tweeted there are "no bedbugs at Doral ... Radical Left Democrats...spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!" The hashtag #TrumpBedBugs was trending on Twitter Monday night when critics shared reports of Linder's suit.
Linder demanded $15,000 compensation after being subjected to bites causing "welts, lumps and marks over much of his face, neck, arms and torso."
There were no details on the terms of the settlement. Trump had already sparked discomfort among even his closest allies with his bizarre effort to host the 2020 G7 summit at his own hotel.
Conservative Rick Santorum, a CNN analyst and former presidential candidate, said the president should "just stop" trying to use the White House to steer business to his properties.
"It's inappropriate. He shouldn't do it," Santorum told CNN Monday night.
Trump stunned world leaders by using the internationally televised stage to tout his struggling resort as an "outstanding" spot for next year's summit.
Out of all the possible summit locales in the U.S., Trump claimed that his resort would be the best because of its proximity to Miami's airport and "spectacular" bungalows. He claimed that government experts had agreed with his opinion after reviewing several options, which he did not name.
Ethics experts call it a blatant violation of conflict of interest rules for the president to steer the G7 to his own hotel.
The Doral resort has seen revenue plunge as some travelers shun the controversial Trump brand.
Trump already faces a pair of lawsuits accusing him of violating the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars presidents from taking payments from foreign leaders or governments.
Unlike past presidents, Trump has maintained ownership of his business empire although he claims his sons handle the day-to-day operations.