The United Kingdom is pushing back on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to leave G-7 summit early, travel directly to Singapore Stormy Daniels’s former attorney files defamation suit against her Justice Department seizes reporter’s phone, email records in leak probe: report MORE ‘s suggestion that Russia rejoin the Group of Seven of the world’s top industrialized economies.
“We should remind ourselves why the G8 became the G7 – it was after Russia illegally annexed Crimea,” a senior government source from the United Kingdom said.
“Since then we have seen malign activity from Russia in a whole variety of ways, including on the streets of Salisbury in the UK. Before any conversations can take place about Russia rejoining, it needs to change its approach,” the source added.
As Trump prepared to join the annual G-7 leaders’ summit on Friday, which is taking place in Canada, he said he would favor allowing Russia to rejoin the group.
The summit promises to be tense. Leaders from the other six countries in attendance – Canada, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Japan – have harshly condemned Trump for imposing aluminum and steel tariffs on their countries, and threatening others.
“We disagree with these, we think they’re unjustified,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday morning en route to the summit.
“I will continue to put the argument for the importance of those trade relationships around the world and I’ll be doing that here at the G-7 as I have done elsewhere and will continue to do elsewhere,” she added.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron entered a war of words with Trump on Thursday.
“The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be,” Macron tweeted, following similar rhetoric at a press conference with Trudeau. “Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force.”
Trudeau reiterated his indignation that Trump would impose tariffs on national security grounds, a workaround to World Trade Organization rules.
“This is ridiculous to think they could be a threat to national security. In fact, we are the closest friends the United States has had in quite some time,” Trudeau said.
Trump responded on Twitter.
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow,” he wrote.
The White House announced late Thursday that he’ll depart the summit early, missing many of the central meetings on Saturday.