White House Moves G-8 Summit from Chicago to Camp David

The White House announced the G-8 summit, a gathering of the leaders from the largest eight economies in the world in May, will be held at the presidential retreat of Camp David, instead of Chicago.

The summit was originally slated to be in President Obama's hometown ahead of the NATO summit, also happening in the Windy City a couple days later.

The White House says the group is expected to discuss which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.

The unusual late change raised questions if there were concerns over security, but the White House didn't say that was the reason.

"The president felt that Camp David would provide an informal and intimate setting to have a free-flowing discussion with his fellow leaders. He very much looks forward to coming to his hometown for a critically important NATO Summit, as planned," said NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

The summit will include world leaders from Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Britain and the United States. Last year's was in France.

The annual summit is typically seen as an opportunity for leader of the host nation to show off its country.

Camp David, located just outside Washington, D.C. in a wooded area in Maryland, is far more secluded. It's also not a spot that Obama has particularly taken a liking to, in general preferring to stay in the city on weekends.

He's taken occasional getaways there and has ventured to the retreat a little more than 20 times during his presidency, but never hosted a world leader there.

The concept of the new location was brought up to Obama a few weeks ago, the Associated Press reported.  An administration official told them that the president was reportedly intrigued by the novelty of the idea and asked staff whether they could pull off the change.

Hosting both NATO and the G-8 were a big economic opportunity for Chicago, but also a potential security and traffic nightmare.

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former White House chief of staff and current Chicago mayor released a statement saying, "We wish President Obama and the other leaders well at the G8 meeting at Camp David and look forward to hosting the NATO Summit in Chicago."

The mayor added, "Hosting the NATO Summit is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago and we are proud to host the 50 heads of state, foreign and defense ministers from the NATO and ISAF countries in our great city May 19-21."

He was informed only hours before the official White House release, the AP reported.