“What you have in recent days are landfills of toxic talking points,” said Rick Tyler, the communications director for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 Republican presidential bid. “It’s systematic mismanagement.”

Private criticism from Republican lawmakers about Mr. Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 summit at his own property, in Florida, helped prompt the president’s reversal, White House officials said. White House aides privately told the president his foreign-policy agenda would be overshadowed at the summit by the controversy. Republicans also phoned the White House on Thursday to complain that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s comments about aid to Ukraine made it more difficult to defend the president, the officials said.

Several Republican lawmakers—including Reps. Mike Simpson of Idaho and Francis Rooney of Florida, who recently said he plans to retire—publicly criticized the G-7 announcement. Asked Friday by reporters whether the choice of Doral was appropriate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) said, “No.”