As the G-7 summit gets underway in Canada today, Donald Trump is isolated from our closest allies in ways no modern American president has been. For reasons that the White House hasn’t explained, Trump seems to have gone out of his way to unite the G-7’s other leaders in opposition to his presidency.In an extraordinary rebuke, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote yesterday, “The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force.”
Standing alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom Trump has taken repeated shots at this week, Macron added at a press conference yesterday, “The six countries of the G-7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market.” In an apparent reference to American primacy, the French president added, “Nobody is forever.”
It’s against this backdrop that Trump isn’t just feuding with our allies and neighbors, he’s also looking for new ways to help Russia. Take this morning, for example.
President Trump called on the world’s leading economies on Friday to reinstate Russia to the Group of 7 nations four years after it was cast out for annexing Crimea, once again putting him at odds with America’s leading allies in Europe and Asia.
The president made the suggestion to reporters as he headed to Canada for the annual meeting of the G-7, a gathering that already was promising to be crackling with tension over trade, Iran and Mr. Trump’s sharp-edged approach to foreign leaders.
NBC News posted a video of Trump’s comments online. It includes predicable political nonsense – he’s still pretending Vladimir Putin would’ve preferred a Hillary Clinton victory two years ago – but it culminated in the American president calling for Russia to be readmitted into the international gathering.
He added that his position “may not be politically correct,” offering a reminder that Trump may not fully understand what “politically correct” means.
Whether the president knows this or not, Russia was a part of this body – it was the G-8, not the G-7 – but the other member nations expelled Russia after its aggression toward Ukraine, including the seizure of the Crimean peninsula.
Trump, elected in part thanks to an illegal Russian intelligence operation in the United States, apparently wants to end Moscow’s punishment – as if Russia’s recent conduct, including an attempted assassination attempt on British soil, warranted some kind of international reward.
The New York Times added this morning, “The notion of readmitting Russia to the world’s most exclusive club without any concession by the Kremlin reflects the unusually friendly approach that Mr. Trump has taken to Russia since becoming president, a policy at odds with both Republicans and Democrats in Washington as well as leaders in Europe.”
It’s almost as if Trump feels indebted in some way to Moscow, and the Republican doesn’t mind embarrassing himself while looking for new ways to make Russia happy.
As regular readers probably know, the White House has been eager to insist that when it comes to Russia, Trump has been incredibly “tough.” Indeed, again this morning, the American president managed to say with a straight face that he’s been Putin’s “worst nightmare.”