Trump Lies, Scams & Blunders His Way Through the G7
Since the end of the Second World War, America's Presidents have led the free world, not always perfectly, to be sure, but with confidence that they were working to address global problems while advancing democracy and a rules-based international order. Johnson's war in Vietnam and Bush's disastrous Iraq quagmire certainly tarnished that image, but President Trump has done something they couldn't. In just a few short years, Donald Trump has made American leadership seem irrelevant, incompetent, and corrupt. His G7 performance cemented that image.
G7 host, President Emmanuel Macron of France, sought to take on climate change, the fires in Brazil, international trade, and Iran's nuclear program, among other weighty global issues. Donald Trump had four items on his agenda: getting his buddy Vladimir Putin back in the G7, talking up his under-performing Florida resort as the site for the next G7, ameliorating some of the damage from his escalating trade war with China and stonewalling everything on Macron's agenda.
Putin: Russia was kicked out of the G7 after they invaded and annexed Crimea in violation of international law. We invaded Iraq when they did something similar in Kuwait. Russia made matters worse by supporting a civil war in the Ukraine and in the last few weeks, Putin has ordered the arrest of hundreds of pro-democracy protesters in Moscow. Despite all this, Trump still wants Russia reinstated. France, Germany and the UK disagree. So, why is Trump pushing the issue, especially in light of warnings that Putin is again plotting to interfere in an American presidential election? Perhaps the answer is as obvious as it first appears.
Trump's Golf Resort Scam: This G7 will be remembered as the global gathering at which an American President came prepared with an infomercial for his struggling Florida golf resort. If the administration selects Trump's Doral Golf Resort for the next G7, it may well represent the clearest case of corrupt self-dealing and crony capitalism in our nation's history. And absolutely no one will be surprised.
Washington Post: "That decision would be an unprecedented use of American power to create private revenue for the American president. If Trump does choose Doral, he would be directing six world leaders, hundreds of hangers-on and massive amounts of money to a resort he owns personally — and which, according to his company’s representatives, has been “severely underperforming.”
China Trade War: In the days leading up to the G7, Trump had exacerbated tensions with China and global markets had plunged. The escalating trade war was acting as a drag on global growth and fears of recession were growing in the United States. President Trump sought to calm the situation in his usual blundering way and the G7 got a big dose of Trump's poor relationship with the truth. He announced that China had called because they were now eager for a trade deal.
Washington Post: "Trump claimed to have gotten two phone calls on Sunday night from high-ranking Chinese officials seeking to negotiate a trade deal. “High-level calls,” he said. Chinese government officials said Monday that they were unaware of any such calls. When Trump asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to back him up, Mnuchin would only say there had been “communication,” avoiding the word “call.” The treasury secretary quickly interjected again Monday afternoon to add “communications.”
Stonewalling: Maybe the most important item from President Emmanuel Macron's agenda was a discussion of climate change and greenhouse gas reduction goals. President Trump had no interest in a discussion of global warming or the fire's in Brazil's Amazon jungle, so he simply fabricated an excuse [an obvious lie] and failed to appear.
The Bulwark: "When the rest of the group’s leaders convened for a climate change meeting Monday to discuss, among other things, an outbreak of wildfires in the Amazon jungle, Trump skipped out. The White House claimed he missed the meeting because he was busy in meetings with Germany and India—despite the fact that both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it to the meeting just fine."
The G7 ended with few accomplishments, so the President was largely successful in stonewalling any substantial agreements. And that is what leadership looks like in the age of Trump.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content