(LA MALBAIE, Quebec) — President Donald Trump injected fresh drama into an already tense meeting of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations Friday, calling for Russia, ousted for its the annexation of Crimea, to be reinstated.
Trump made the comment at the White House Friday after hours of further escalating his rhetoric against longtime allies over U.S. trade practices.
“Why are we having a meeting without Russia in the meeting? Trump said. “They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
Solidifying his solo status on the world stage, Trump also lashed out at longtime allies over their criticism of his trade policies and plans an early exit from the G-7 meeting.
Russia was ousted from the elite group in 2014 as punishment for President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. In the U.S., special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election in his favor.
Trump will arrive Friday at the annual gathering, held this year at a Quebec resort, but will leave Saturday morning before the event is over, heading to Singapore for his highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The White House announced his travel plans after French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled they would use the G7 event to take a stance against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries,” Trump tweeted early Friday. “If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better.”
Trump also singled out tariffs on U.S. dairy products in yet another scathing tweet directed at Canada just before the G-7.
At a joint press conference on Thursday, Macron said: “A trade war doesn’t spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt U.S. workers.” Trudeau said: “We are going to defend our industries and our workers.”
Trudeau, for his part, said Trump’s action would hurt American workers as well as Canadians.
“If I can get the president to actually realize that what he’s doing is counterproductive for his own goals as well, perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way,” Trudeau said.
As tempers frayed, Trump had a ready retort, via tweet: “Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. …read more
Source:: Time – Politics