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

Evacuation alert boundaries reduced for communities north of Quesnel

Communities west of the Fraser River remain on alert, including Nazko, Baker Creek and Blackwater.

Rebuild of fire-damaged Lakeview mill aiming for full-production by Feb. 2019

The company said it hopes to resume full production by February 2019.

Update on wildfires in the Cariboo, Aug. 14

Progress made on fires of note in the region

Beaulne appointed vice-principal of Lake City Secondary School

School District 27 has announced Kristina Beaulne has been appointed vice-principal of LCSS

Evacuation alert lifted for 57 properties in Houseman Road area

The Houseman wildfire is now considered being held and is 100 per cent contained

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read