Donald Trump really didn’t want to go to the G-7 meeting. By all accounts, Trump has been moping around the White House for days, asking if he really, really had to go to
school today a critical meeting with world leaders that could shape global economic policies. After all, none of his friends would be there. It’s going to just be America’s most important and consistent allies and stuff. Which is so, so boring.
Earlier in the week, Trump had a suggestion on how this dull party of stuffed shirts could be livened up … invite the guy who doesn’t wear a shirt! “I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in,” Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “I could certainly see it being the G-8 again.”
But as Trump’s plane was touching down in France, that other Donald—European Council President Donald Tusk—had a few words to say about the idea that Russia should be allowed to rejoin the institution from which it was unceremoniously excluded after a little issue of invading its neighbor. Tusk slammed the idea of allowing Russia back into the group, and he didn’t stop there. He jumped on Trump for “using tariffs and taxation as a political instrument” which he described as creating a risk for the whole world. And for backing out of the Iran nuclear agreement. And for generally opening up divisions in the Western world that “plays into the hands” of Putin and others who want to rip apart Europe, NATO, and democracy.
“One year ago in Canada,” said Tusk, “President Trump suggested re-inviting Russia to the G-7, stating openly that Crimea’s annexation by Russia was partially justified, and that we should accept it. Under no condition can we agree with this logic.”
It wasn’t as if Tusk told Trump to shut up or they’d just make the damn thing the G-6 … but it was close. It was as near as a genuine diplomat might come to saying “go f#ck yourself.”
Of course, two can play at this game. Trump could run away and make his own very best new group. The T-4. They would meet at the best places, and have all the fun guys—like Putin and Xi and Kim. Of course, Trump didn’t manage to make a new nuclear deal with Putin, or with Kim, and he can’t manage a trade deal with Xi. So a T-4 meeting wouldn’t really achieve anything. But there would be lots of golf. And the best chocolate cake. And everyone would write Trump a love letter.