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Trump Claims Doral Bedbugs Are ‘Nasty Rumor’ Despite 2017 Legal Settlement Over Bedbugs


Following President Donald Trump’s impassioned sales pitch for hosting the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit at the Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami, the president on Tuesday found himself defending the Trump-owned property from allegations of bed bug infestations. Despite his claim that rumors about bedbugs were part of a “Radical Left” plot to spread false information about the property, the Doral Golf Club settled a lawsuit with a patron over bed bugs just two years ago.

“No bedbugs at Doral. The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

But these claims are belied by a 2017 legal settlement reached between Trump’s Doral Golf Club and a New Jersey businessman who sued the establishment in 2016. In the lawsuit, Eric Linder stated that his back, face, and arms were “devoured by voracious bed bugs” while staying at the resort’s $300 per-night Jack Nicklaus villa, resulting in “welts, lumps, spots on his face, neck, and arm.”

Linder originally demanded at least $15,000, claiming that, in addition to the physical effects of the bed bug bites, he was forced to leave his clothing in the villa, fearing they too had become infested with the pests. Linder also claimed that he suffered humiliation from having to spend 24 hours covered in ointment to treat the bites.

Doral initially responded to the lawsuit by claiming that Linder had “conducted himself so carelessly and negligently that his conduct was the sole proximate cause or contributing cause” to the bug bites covering his body. But just before the president’s inauguration ceremony in January of 2017, his attorneys reached a settlement with Linder, the details of which remain confidential.

George Conway, husband to senior presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, noted the president’s apparent attempt to spread misinformation about Doral’s bedbug history.

“Now you’re lying about *bedbugs.* You settled a lawsuit with this guy,” Conway tweeted, along with a picture Linder originally included in his lawsuit showing the bedbug bites he claimed to have suffered while staying at Doral.

[image via LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.