President Donald Trump said Russia should be allowed back into the G-8 bloc, suddenly lobbing another point of friction into an-already fraught summit that began Friday with allies in Canada.
“Russia should be in this meeting,” Trump told reporters in Washington as he left the White House to fly to Canada. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?"
“Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run, and in the G-7 which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out,” he said. “They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
Trump’s comments threw another wrench into the Group of Seven gathering underway in the scenic Charlevoix region just north of the Maine border. He will miss at least some of the summit’s second day after speculation he’d cancel his appearance entirely amid public criticism from allies over steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the U.S. in recent weeks. Instead, he appears ready to fire back with his America First mantra.