The Trump Administration is brushing aside beliefs the President might skip this weekend’s G7 summit in Quebec. White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox and Friends this morning it was ridiculous to think President Donald Trump was going to pass on the chance to talk with world leaders. He even claimed everyone was pretty much laughing in the White House when the rumors started swirling that Trump was going to send Vice President Mike Pence to the summit instead.
Some of the speculation is coming from The Chicago Tribune which wrote Trump didn’t really want to go to Quebec because he’s in a North Korea state of mind.
The president has vented privately about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as their trade tensions have spilled into public view. He has mused about finding new ways to punish the northern neighbor in recent days, frustrated with the country’s retaliatory trade moves.
And Trump has complained to aides about spending two days in Canada for a summit of world leaders, believing the trip is a distraction from his upcoming Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with Trump’s views.
In particular, the president said Tuesday to several advisers that he fears attending the Group of Seven summit in rural Charlevoix, Quebec, may not be a good use of his time because he is diametrically opposed on many key issues with his counterparts — and does not want to be lectured by them.
Trump gave his own pushback to the article claims this morning.
Isn’t it Ironic? Getting ready to go to the G-7 in Canada to fight for our country on Trade (we have the worst trade deals ever made), then off to Singapore to meet with North Korea & the Nuclear Problem…But back home we still have the 13 Angry Democrats pushing the Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
There’s actually plenty of reason for Trump to be a little hesitant to show up in Quebec based on statements from French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron told reporters today his fellow G7 members should be willing to do things without Trump’s approval.
“The G7 is an opportunity for us to get together and have frank, open discussions among nations who have long been allies and friends,” Macron told reporters, with [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau at his side.
“There will be subjects on which the (US) president is not totally in sync with the others — I’m thinking of course of climate change and trade,” the French leader said.
Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer even suggested to Axios it was going to be an extremely dysfunctional G7 meeting due to the issues Trump has with the rest of the leaders.
“after their collective irritation with the paris climate withdrawal and the iran deal withdrawal, they’re no longer hiding behind pleasantries.”
“trump’s America first isn’t isolationist, but it is strongly unilateralist, which stands in direct opposition to the us-led multilateral institutions of the post war order.”
“we were already facing major challenges to that order before trump: brexit, the weakening of Europe more broadly, the rise of china and its creation of new architecture, Russia’s willingness to undermine the americans.”
Why it matters: “the trump administration has piled on and the us-led order has crumbled more quickly than it otherwise would have. this week’s gzero summit [a leaderless world] will put that on stark display.”
It really depends on how everything turns out. I think he should go and be willing to listen to what the other G7 leaders have to say – even if they’re wrong on the Paris Agreement – and calmly offer his own reasons for his positions. The big question is whether it will be a two-way dialogue or a one-way dialogue of G7 members smashing Trump over the head with vitriol and Trump responding in kind. It’s a delicate process and one which will be quite interesting to watch. Odin know the leaks are gonna be awesome too.