Trump Reportedly Started Tense Argument with Other World Leaders Over Readmitting Russia into G7
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly rebutted Donald Trump during a G7 summit dinner in Biarritz, France on Saturday night after the U.S. president aggressively insisted on the intergovernmental group to readmitting Russia.
A CNN report on Tuesday shed light on Trump’s defense of Russia — a U.N. member removed from the G7 in 2014 for annexing Crimea — that derailed the evening’s agenda, which was slated to focus on Western negotiations with Iran and the ongoing forest fires in the Amazon. After the president raised the issue, Merkel and Johnson pushed back against Trump’s comments by accusing Russia of trending against democracy since their illegal entry into Ukraine; sources told CNN that Trump then called it a night after realizing the majority of his peers opposed his Russia proposition.
Trump responded to critics during the tense exchange by claiming that Russia was punished by the G7 simply because Vladimir Putin outsmarted and embarrassed Barack Obama on the world stage after bucking the then U.S.-president’s policies and seizing Crimea — an argument that Trump repeatedly made during a Monday press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Officials who spoke to CNN said that Macron somewhat sided with Trump, as he believes the group’s leaders should continue communicating with Putin, but did not go so far as to blame Obama or suggest that Russia be allowed to return by next year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sided with Trump privately, but has not spoken out about it, while Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who recently stepped down as his country’s leader, spoke in favor of readmitting the Kremlin.
On the opposing side, Johnson, Merkel, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are united in totally opposing Russia’s readmittance while they hold Crimea. Johnson was spotted on Sunday morning thanking Macron for managing the confrontational dinner well, telling the summit host “well played” in French.
During a presser on Monday, Trump said that having Russia “inside the room is better than having them outside the room.”
“Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him. And he wanted Russia to be out of the what was called the G8,” continued Trump, who has also said of the G7, “Maybe we’ll just leave it the way it is.”
[featured image via Dylan Martinez/Pool/Getty Images]
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