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

Arrow Lakes Hospital emergency department closed for six hours

Nursing shortage forces shutdown Sunday from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Unregulated private land logging continues near Nelson at Cottonwood Lake

Sunshine Logging of Kaslo is cutting on private land in the area of Giveout Creek Road

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read