The hashtag “Trump Bed Bugs” was trending on Twitter during the evening of August 26, 2019, and online searches for the term also spiked on Google. What in the world prompted people to start sharing and searching for this seemingly random term?
The conversation got started after President Trump recommended that the G7 Summit in 2020 be held at his Trump National Doral Miami Golf Club. He made the suggestion in Biarritz, France to reporters before beginning a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The comment inspired critics to bring up the fact that in 2016, a customer sued the resort due to an alleged infestation. New Jersey man Eric Linder said he was bitten all over his body by bed bugs. The lawsuit was settled in January of 2017, shortly after President Trump’s inauguration.
Here’s what you need to know.
Business Traveler Eric Linder Says He Woke Up With Dozens of Bites While Staying at the Trump Resort
Business traveler Eric Linder, identified by the Miami Herald as an insurance executive from New Jersey, sued Donald Trump and the company following an unpleasant stay he had at the South Florida resort.
According to the complaint, Linder stayed in the Jack Nicklaus-themed villa at the Doral resort in March of 2016. Linder said he woke up with bug bites all over his face, arms, and neck. He filed a lawsuit in July of that year.
According to Law & Crime, Linder demanded $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit stated that Linder had also left business suits at the resort because he was concerned the clothing had been infested with the bed bugs as well.
The resort initially claimed that Linder himself was responsible, saying that it was his “own carelessness and negligence” that had caused him to be bitten by bugs.
The lawsuit was ultimately settled in late January of 2017. Details of the deal were not publicly disclosed.
President Trump Touted His Miami Resort During a Press Conference at the G7 in France
President Trump suggested more than once on August 26, 2019, that his Miami resort should be considered as the hosting site for the 2020 G7 Summit. Before a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the president talked promoted Doral for its location. He repeated that the resort was very close to the Miami Airport and would be a convenient location for world leaders flying into the United States.
During a separate press conference, a reporter asked President Trump how he would respond to critics who accuse him of trying to profit from the presidency. He dismissed that idea, claiming that becoming president had actually caused him to lose as much as $5 billion in business opportunities.
President Trump went on to pitch the Trump National Doral Miami resort and golf club. He again praised its location in Doral. “Doral is… a wonderful place. It’s a very, very successful area of Floria. It’s, very importantly, only five minutes from the airport. The airport is right next door. We have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows. They each hold from 50 to 70, very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It’s like such a natural. We wouldn’t even have to do the work that they did here, and they’ve done a beautiful job.”
Social Media Has Lit Up With Jokes Over #TrumpBedBugs
#TrumpBedBugs has inspired many jokes and memes on social media in the hours since the term went viral. Chicago Tribune humor columnist had one of the most popular tweets. He posted a picture of White House senior advisor Stephen Miller with the comment, “BREAKING: Trump to send Stephen Miller to his Doral resort in Florida to eat all the bed bugs #TrumpBedBugs.”
President Trump responded to the viral sensation just after 10:30 a.m. on August 27. He blamed political opponents for spreading what he called a “nasty rumor.” The tweet read, “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!”
Here is a roundup of some of the social media reactions.