President Donald Trump says he would ‘certainly’ invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next G7 summit meeting – but wondered whether such a ‘proud person’ would attend unless as an equal partner of a restored G8 group.
Trump plans to hold the event at his Doral golf resort near Miami, he revealed Monday by touting its ‘luxurious’ rooms and access to an airpot. He also has pushed repeatedly at the G7 summit in France for Putin to be readmitted to the group Russia was part of before getting kicked out following its invasion of Crimea.
Trump at a press conference at the conclusion of this year’s summit revealed that he may invite Putin to attend the next meeting, which he is hosting next year, regardless of its status as a member. Then described to Russian strongman as having fragile feelings that might keep him away.
‘I don’t know that he’d accept. Those are tough circumstances,’ Trump said. ‘He was a part of G8, and all of a sudden he’s not out or he’s not in. So I think … actually that’s a pretty tough thing for him.’
Donald Trump says that a ‘number of people would like to see Russia back’ in the Group of Seven and it’s ‘certainly possible’ that Vladimir Putin will be invited next year
Trump continued: ‘You know he’s proud person. Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come psychologically, I think it’s a tough thing for him to do. You have the G8 now it’s G7 and you invite the person that was thrown out really by President Obama,’ Trump said. ‘And really because he got out smarted, President Obama, pure and simple.’
The remarks provided an unusual assessment of the fragility of Putin’s ego. The former KGB agent has been photographed shirtless, with tigers, and on horseback, and during summit meetings is often pictured casting an icy glare.
Trump then repeated his claim that Obama was ‘outsmarted’ by Putin, and brought up Obama’s famous ‘red line’ in Syria.
Trump called Putin a ‘proud person’ who might not feel comfortable attending a G7 meeting unless invited as an equal member
Russian President Vladimir Putin dives to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland aboard a C-Explorer 3.11 submersible to explore the Soviet Shchuka-class submarine Shch-308 sunken during World War II near the island of Gogland, Russia, on Saturday, July 27, 2019. He is regularly photographed taking place in exploits around Russia that show him in a vigorous light
‘Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come psychologically, I think it’s a tough thing for him to do,’ Trump said
Describing the argument for inviting Russia, which in addition to invading Crimea interfered in the U.S. 2016 elections, Trump said a lot of people are saying ‘having them inside the room is better than having them outside the room.’
‘My inclination is to say, ‘Yes, they should be in,’ Trump said, faulting his predecessor rather than Putin for the invasion of Ukraine and Moscow’s continued presence following an annexation of the strategic area.
‘President Obama was pure and simply outsmarted,’ Trump said. ‘It could have been stopped with the right whatever. But it could have been stopped.
‘I’m not blaming him, but a lot of bad things happened with President Putin and President Obama,’ Trump said. ‘One of the things that happened was as you know what happened in with a very big area a very very big and important area in the Middle East with the red line was drawn and then President Obama decided that she was not going to do anything about it. You can’t draw red lines in the sand, you just can’t do it,’ the president explained. ‘And the other was in Ukraine having to do with a certain section of Ukraine,’ he said.
‘It was sort of taken away from President Obama, not taken away from President Trump.’
Trump said it was not necessarily ‘politically popular’ for him to invite Putin in battleground Florida soon before his reelection, saying: ‘I don’t do things for political reasons.’
‘A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power, having them inside the room is better than having them outside the room.’
Trump described Russia’s removal as a kind of personal gesture by Obama, rather than a multilateral condemnation of a land-grab.
‘I could understand how President Obama would feel. He wasn’t happy, and they’re not in for that reason,’ he said.
If Putin does come, it will come on territory close to the president’s heart – his own private golf course, which has seen a steep drop in revenue since his election.
The president said officials would soon release information to the public about his team’s search for a G7 venue, which involved a dozen possible locations. He said representatives from the U.S. military and Secret Service were part of the delegation.
‘They went to places all over the country,’ he told reporters, ‘and they came back and they said, “This is where we would like to be”.’
Hosting the G7 at Doral would provide advantages ‘because of the way it is set up,’ he added. ‘Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow.’
‘The bungalows … they have a lot of units in them so I think it just works out well,’ he said.
Trump’s sales pitch included Doral’s proximity to Miami International Airport, and a claim that some rival resorts ‘were two hours from an airport, some were four hours from – I mean, they were so far away!’
Welcome to Trump land: Donald Trump said that his Doral course was a good choice for the G7
Clubhouse: This is the clubhouse which would be the most likely place for Trump to hold the G7 if he goes ahead with using Doral as a venue
Earlier at the summit, Trump said that a ‘number of people would like to see Russia back’ in the Group of Seven and it’s ‘certainly possible’ that Vladimir Putin will be invited next year, without naming specific countries.
He said Sunday in Biarritz that a ‘lively discussion’ had taken place and ‘some’ leaders had said they’d like to readmit Russia.
In a bilateral with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the U.S. president said: ‘We have a number of people who would like to see Russia back.
‘I think it would be advantageous to many things in the world. I think it would be a positive. Other people agree with me, and it’s something that we’re discussing.’
Trump added, ‘I don’t know if we’ll make a decision one way or the other, but we did have a discussion about Russia last night, as to whether or not we want to invite them back.’
‘Other people agree with me, and some people don’t necessarily agree,’ he said. ‘Maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll just leave it the way it is.’
GOOD ONE, DONALD: Trump said Sunday that ‘some’ leaders favor adding Putin. He refused to tell reporters which ones were pulling for Moscow priviately
It was not clear who Trump meant when he said that some leaders were siding with him. He declined to reveal the private talks to his press pool this morning.
‘I could, but I don’t think it’s necessary,’ he asserted in his meeting with Abe.
But he said he was surprised by a ‘couple’ of the voices speaking up in support of the proposition, because he didn’t think ‘they have a good relationship’ with Moscow.
‘No decision. No decision’s been made. We didn’t do a vote or anything,’ he said of the ‘ongoing’ conversations about next year’s summit.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told DailyMail.com later, at the U.S. press filing center, that Trump had not decided whether to invite Putin to the gathering that will be held next year in the United States.
‘There are areas of the world that we have shared interest that are important. They’re obviously a big nuclear power. We’re interested in other arms control with them,’ he said. ‘But there are issues as to why perhaps we don’t want them at the table. So the president hasn’t made any decisions.’
Mnuchin said he was not present for the conversation that Trump was referring to.
Heads of government dined privately on Saturday evening at the Biarritz Lighthouse.
‘I wasn’t in that discussion, so I can’t say literally what happened in it. I can tell you the president has not made a decision one way another about next year,’ he said.
He added, ‘My understanding, speaking to the president, there’s a lot of reason to why it would be important to have Russia sitting there.’
Hedging, he acknowledged there also reasons not to invite Putin to come to America in 2020.
The president is up next year for reelection, and his ties to Moscow will be an easy Democratic target.
Trump first revealed that G7 leaders had a ‘lively discussion’ about Russia in a breakfast with the UK’s Boris Johnson.
Asked if they talked about Putin, and whether he’d be invited to attend next year’s gathering, which will be held in the United States, on Sunday morning, Trump said they did.
‘That, I don’t know. We did discuss it,’ he said, adding that it’s ‘certainly possible’ that Putin could be invited.
Trump said then that a ‘lively’ and ‘really good’ discussion took place, with Johnson adding: ‘It was lively.’
The UK prime minister did not confront Trump in the meeting, but he’d said ahead of the summit that Russia should not be readmitted. He cited the occupation of Ukraine and the poisoning of a former double agent living in England.
Officials from Canada and France had also said no to Russia rejoining. Putin will not be welcome until Russia vacates the Crimean Peninsula, the nations say.
The only other G7 leader who’s publicly supported Trump’s position is the Italian prime minster, and he’s a lame duck now that he’s resigned.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. U.S. Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt sits next to POTUS on his right, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sits to his left
Donald Trump was disappointed with his coverage the first day of the summit. He complained about alleged ‘fake news’ in a series of tweets on Sunday morning
Trump on several occasions on Sunday presented rosier scenario than other leaders about the discussions that took place in private talks.
Over a meal of scrambled eggs, veal sausage, toast and a trade deal on Sunday morning in Biarritz with Johnson, Trump said he wasn’t getting push back on his escalating dispute with China from fellow heads of state attending the summit.
‘No. Not at all. I haven’t heard that at all, no. I think they respect the trade war,’ he’d claimed. ‘So, the answer is, nobody has told me that, and nobody would tell me that.’
He declared Johnson the ‘right man for the job,’ and said he’ll be a ‘fantastic prime minister’ who can deliver on Brexit and a trade deal.
‘He needs no advice. He’s the right man for the job,’ Trump said of his friend. ‘I’ve been saying that for a long time. Didn’t make your predecessor very happy, but I’ve been saying that for a long time.’
However, differences between the men on that very subject quickly emerged, as Trump mistakenly claimed he’s having ‘second thoughts’ about his assault on China, and Johnson advised him that he should dial his tariffs back.
‘But just to register the faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war, we’re in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can,’ Johnson told him.
Johnson said the UK has ‘profited massively in the last 200 years from free trade, and that’s what we want to see.’
‘We don’t like tariffs on the whole,’ he told a reporter who asked him about Trump’s comments.
Laughing the statement off, Trump took a swipe at ex-British Prime Minister Theresa May, and said, ‘How about the last three years?
‘Don’t talk about the last three. Two-hundred, I agree with you,’ he told his friend.
Johnson declined to play crossing guard and the let the bus roll right over his predecessor and former party leader.
‘I’m not going to dissent. I’m not going to discourage you from that, Donald,’ he said after Trump insulted May again. ‘But obviously, I have memories of American trade negotiations in the past, and I have a formidable respect for U.S. trade negotiations. And I know that there will be some tough talks ahead.’
He said that Britain is not able to to sell lamb, pork pies or beef to the United States at present.
‘And there are clearly huge opportunities for the UK to penetrate the American market in the way that we currently don’t. And we’re very interested to talk about that with you,’ he said.
Trump seemed to be missing the flares that Johnson was sending up on trade talks.
‘They won’t have the anchor around their ankle,’ he said of the UK’s plans to leave the EU.
Johnson replied, ‘Talking of the anchor, Donald, what we want is for our ships to take freight, say, from New York to Boston, which for the moment they’re not able to do.’
Another leader who’s close to Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, challenged the U.S. president on North Korean missile tests.
Trump claimed, ‘I’m not happy about it. But, again, he’s not in violation of an agreement.’
But Abe said that Japan’s ‘position is very clear: That the launch of short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea clearly violates the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.’
‘So, in that sense, it was extremely regrettable for us to experience another round of the launch of the short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea in recent days.’
Still, the president claimed repeatedly that everyone was getting along, and told press in the room for the Abe meeting that some world leaders agreed with him privately on the benefits of having Russia at the G7 summit.
Trump said in early-morning tweets that it’s the American media that’s out of step.
He griped: ‘Such False and Inaccurate reporting thus far on the G-7. The Fake News knows this but they can’t help themselves!’
‘Before I arrived in France, the Fake and Disgusting News was saying that relations with the 6 others countries in the G-7 are very tense, and that the two days of meetings will be a disaster,’ he said.
The U.S. president also claimed, ‘Just like they are trying to force a Recession, they are trying to ‘will’ America into bad Economic times, the worse the better, anything to make my Election more difficult to win. Well, we are having very good meetings, the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great – the talk of the world!’
Trump told reporters in the room for his breakfast with Johnson several minutes later, ‘You people want a recession, because you think maybe that’s the way to get Trump out. Maybe that’s the way to we get him out.’
In this White House handout photo, President Trump joins G7 Leaders for dinner Saturday evening at the Biarritz Lighthouse. Trump says they had a ‘lively discussion’ about Russia
He was lashing out over coverage of his spat with French President Emmanuel Macon, whom he had lunch with on Saturday.
Trump had threatened to tax French wine before he left Washington in retaliation for a planned digital tax on companies like Amazon. Intercepting him at his hotel, Macron invited Trump to an unscheduled lunch, where he told the U.S. leader how honored he was to have him in France.
The president seemed appeased, saying they have a ‘special relationship’ and have ‘been friends for a long time’ at the beginning of their meal.
‘France and President @EmmanuelMacron have done a really great job thus far with a very important G-7. Lunch with Emmanuel was the best meeting we have yet had. Likewise, evening meeting with World Leaders went very well. Progress being made!’ he said after a group dinner on Saturday night.
He also claimed, ‘Our great Economy is the talk of everyone!’