Trump will attend G7 summit but he's leaving early

Sure, President Trump will attend the G7 Summit this weekend but he’s out of there early. There’s this meeting coming up in Singapore that Trump is much more interested in making than hanging around Quebec listening to 6 allies chew his ear off for going it alone on trade and climate change.

Thursday evening it was confirmed by a tweet that Trump will leave Quebec Saturday morning instead of that afternoon. This allows him to skip the climate change session and a working lunch. No doubt he’ll be sick of hearing about their objections to his decision about tariffs by then. An aide will sit in for Trump.

Leaving Friday for Canada – his first trip there as president – if he plays his cards right he can manage to only be in that country for less than 24 hours. That seems like a fair compromise, given that the other six country leaders don’t seem too thrilled to put up with him, either. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau already had a testy telephone conversation with Trump earlier this week and French President Macron said Thursday that he’s cool with only six countries signing an agreement “if need be.”

As Trump questioned why he should go to the G7 knowing he will be in for an unpleasant trip, his advisers told him it would look like he was backing away from a fight. Naturally, this did the trick and Trump pledged to go in swinging.

Even as late as Thursday afternoon, Trump was questioning why he would attend a G7 meeting where he’s outnumbered on key issues like trade and climate change. As a series of combative tweets from Macron began emerging late in the day, Trump again raised the prospect of scrubbing all or part of his visit to Canada, asking advisers what the point of attending the summit would be, according to a person familiar with the conversations.

He was told that canceling the visit entirely would appear like he’s shrinking from a fight he proudly began. And with that in his head, Trump told his advisers he’ll enter the talks swinging. And swing he did on Twitter, responding to Macron’s assertion that G7 nations would band together without the US.

“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow,” Trump tweeted.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump would be represented by Everett Eissenstat for the last sessions.

“G7 Sherpa and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat will represent the United States for the remaining G7 sessions,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

It was announced earlier this week that First Lady Melania Trump will skip both the G7 and the Singapore Summit.