Trump gives relationship with G7 countries 10 out of 10

U.S. president defends wanting to bring Russia back to an expanded G8

U.S. President Donald Trump takes his seat after arriving late for the G7 and Gender Equality Advisory Council Breakfast, as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde looks on, left, at the G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Que., on Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

President Donald Trump wrapped his short trip to Canada extolling his relationship with the G7 countries as a 10 out of 10, and blasting reports of rifts between the U.S. and world as nothing more than “fake news.”

In a freewheeling news conference at the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Trump defended his contentious case for bringing Russia back to an expanded G8, and he riffed again on what he said are unfair trade deficits with his country.

He blamed past world leaders, including past presidents, for that situation, but said the current crew — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — now know that the “gig is up.”

Trump’s tirade came before he was to leave for Singapore for his historic summit with the North Korean leader North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He will miss the climate session of the G7 summit.

When a CNN reporter asked Trump to respond to a question about whether he had sowed division in the G7 in what many have described as a G6-plus-one scenario, the president excoriated the reporter for perpetuating “fake news.”

He said he gets along well with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Trudeau.

“I would say that the level of relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship. Angela and Emmanuel and Justin. I would say the relationship is a 10,” Trump said.

He said the trade deficits that the U.S. faces “with virtually every country in the world” is the fault of past leaders.

“I’m going back a long way. You can go back 50 years frankly. It just got worse and worse and worse.”

READ MORE: Trump wants Russia invited back to G7

Trump said he doesn’t blame the current leaders, but he had a sharp warning for them if they don’t work with him to correct what he sees as an unfair situation.

“I will blame them if they don’t act smart and do what they have to do because they have no choice,” he said.

“They understand that. They know it. When I’m telling them, they’re smiling at me. You know, it’s like the gig is up.”

Trump reiterated that Russia should be re-invited back into the G7 because a G8 would be more meaningful.

“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russia, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7,” Trump said.

“We’re looking for peace in the world, we’re not looking to play games.”

Canada has flatly rejected welcoming Russia back to the G7 fold, pointing to its annexation of Crimea.

On Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk said Trump’s criticism of the international rules-based order is “playing into the hands of those who seek a new post-West order where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist.”

On Canada, Trump repeated criticism of Canadian dairy but says he wants to make a deal on NAFTA, with two different types of sunset clauses — a stumbling block for Canada in the past.

And he said his recent imposition of punishing steel and aluminum tariffs was based on legitimate national security concerns, rebuffing the concerns of allies.

“Let’s say Canada, where we have tremendous tariffs. The United States pays enormous tariffs on dairy. As an example, 270 per cent, nobody knows that.”

Pierre Lampron, the president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, shot back at Trump’s claims about his industry.

“President Trump is targeting the dairy sector because he wants to dump U.S. dairy into Canada,” Lampron told The Canadian Press, adding that Canada imports five times more dairy from the U.S. than it exports.

“President Trump wants nothing less than wiping out Canadian dairy farming.”

The other G7 leaders will meet without Trump for the rest of the day, discussing climate change and international development.

Trudeau has his closing press conference this afternoon.

Andy Blatchford and Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Abbotsford highway closure planned as pedestrian/cycling bridge moved

Abbotsford pedestrian/cycling highway crossing to be moved into place early Sunday morning

Online fundraiser to cover funeral costs of motorcyclist killed in collision

Larry Nizio, 37, died after crash with pickup truck Oct. 12 in Abbotsford

Silverdale development will move forward once district staff satisfied that all conditions met

Mission council approves zoning, OCP changes, but adds restrictive covenant

Mission council denies motion that would delay new construction in Silverdale

Coun. Danny Plecas’ suggestion receive little support

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Disney on Ice returns to Vancouver with Moana in starring role

Eight shows at Pacific Coliseum in late November

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read