As President Donald Trump departed early from the G-7 summit in Quebec on Saturday, America’s closest allies were left reeling.
Trump abruptly refused to sign the joint statement the seven leaders had agreed on a range of topics including trade and the environment, announcing his decision in a pair of tweets from Air Force One. Even before this, the other countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K.—had struggled to find common ground with the American president, who had called for Russia to rejoin the bloc, from which it was suspended in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea, and labeled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “weak and dishonest.” Here’s how media in the G-7 countries reacted to the president’s performance.
The editorial board of the Toronto Star, Canada’s highest-circulation newspaper, said,”He sulked his way through the first part of the meeting, gave his delegation the OK to sign the summit’s pallid final communique, then threw a hissy fit and tore it up as soon as he was back on Air Force One. […] It was both dishonest and amateurish.”
The Globe and Mail’s editorial board wrote, “Relations between two of the world’s closest allies are now at a perilous low. The fault rests entirely with Mr. Trump and his advisers. Our government has been patient with the President and his protectionist agenda. So too have Canadians, but this is getting tiresome. We are a polite people, but the President will learn that, when roused, we don’t roll over at the request of an insulting bully, no matter how big.”
A columnist for Der Spiegel, a German weekly news magazine, said the events of the summit amounted to “an unprecedented scandal: Never has there been such a step in 40 years of the G-7’s history, and never has a participant so duped his partners before.”
Another Der Spiegel commentator wrote: “The G-7 debacle shows the real problem with Donald Trump’s politics is Donald Trump. His behavior follows no order, no logic, instead just the desire to be the best, most important and biggest. The collapse of the West, the destruction of decades of friendship is simply a product of his unprecedented ego trips.”
The editorial board of Le Monde, one of France’s biggest daily, said: “One thing is clear: the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is better disposed to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, a man whose dynasty has locked his country and his people into a megalomaniac madness, than to his European, Japanese and Canadian allies […] This kind of behavior has no precedent in the practice of diplomacy between allies. The Europeans must learn lessons from it now.”
Left-leaning Libération‘s New York correspondent said, “Donald Trump was ready with a smile for the G-7’s traditional family photo, but for his supporters, this calm image matters less than the offensive attitude of an American president against the world, defending ‘America First’.”
Singapore Korea Summit
There’s a good chance President Donald Trump will walk out of his meeting with Kim Jong Un as part of his negotiating strategy with the North Korean strongman, Jed Babbin, the former deputy undersecretary of defense, told Newsmax TV on Monday.
“He may have set this whole thing up with the idea that he wants to walk out … The president is a lot of things, t a lot of people but he’s not dumb … Quite frankly, [a walkout is] about the best thing we could hope for.”