During the few hours he spent at the G7 Summit in Quebec, President Trump effectively acted as a one-man turd in the punch bowl, distancing America from its supposed allies at just about every opportunity.
On Saturday morning, Trump threw in straight-up rudeness to his list of offenses, showing up conspicuously late to a meeting assembled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the topic of women’s empowerment — which, admittedly, is not high on Trump’s list of concerns.
From the Toronto Star:
Trump missed Trudeau’s introductory statement at the meeting and entered the room while council co-chair Isabelle Hudon, who is Canada’s ambassador to France, was speaking.
His arrival was impossible to miss as security personnel had to open a path for Trump through a mob of journalists, many of whom were holding large cameras.
Trump stopped at the edge of the room and flashed a big smile in Trudeau’s direction before continuing to his seat.
The rapid-fire clicks of cameras intensified as Trump made his way into the room — to the point that the noise of all the cameras almost drowned out Hudon’s remarks.
Trump had already antagonized his supposed partners on issues from trade, Iran, and climate change since the day he became president, but particularly over the last several months. On Friday, he made an already bad situation worse. Before departing Washington, he suggested, to the consternation of his fellow crew of world leaders, that Russia rejoin the G7, after having been expelled over its 2014 annexation of Crimea. He then arrived late at the summit, forcing the postponement of a one-on-one meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron.
Then, on Friday night, Trump essentially acting out his Twitter feed, ranted at his companions about how badly he believes the U.S. is being screwed on trade. Trump’s recent imposition of tariffs on Canada and the European Union on specious “national security” grounds have infuriated Canada and the European Union, who are increasingly realizing that Trump cannot be coaxed or flattered into rationality on that, or any other, issue. The rift between Trump and other leaders has gotten so bad that the group may forego its traditional, end-of-summit statement of joint purposes.
After the meeting, in hastily announced remarks to reporters, Trump contemplated cutting off trade with G7 countries altogether if they didn’t bend to his unreasonable demands, though he said his personal relationships with Angela Merkel, Macron, and Trudeau were all a “10.” He also reiterated his desire to see Russia admitted back into the delegation.
Trump then departed the summit early — missing the climate change portion of events, which he presumably cares about even less than the women’s empowerment breakfast — to jet off for Singapore, where he will sit down with a leader he currently appears to feel more kinship with than any leader of a liberal democracy: Kim Jong-un.