President Trump suggested he might invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s G7 summit, which the U.S. will be hosting – perhaps at Mr. Trump’s own golf club in Florida. Mr. Trump made the comments in a lengthy press conference at the G-7 summit of world leaders in France, after holding a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I would certainly invite him,” Mr. Trump said, adding Putin might “psychologically” not want to attend after Russia was kicked out of the group for the annexation of Crimea. Mr. Trump has promoted the idea of bringing Russia back into the group, blaming Obama for letting Russia annex Crimea.The president also said he believes China sincerely wants to make a deal and claimed that there had been many calls exchanged between the U.S. and China. He noted that he had seen a news alert that quoted Chinese Vice Premier Liu He that said Chine wants to resolve its trade dispute with the U.S. with a “calm atmosphere.”
For Mr. Trump, the G-7 summit was marked by days of seesawing statements and attempts at quelling fears of a potential economic downturn back home. During the summit, Mr. Trump’s escalating trade war was on full display as he took the weekend to laud his Chinese counterparts, saying Beijing was actively reaching out to Washington to resume trade negotiations and “make a deal.”At one point, he said he was having second thoughts about the hard line he was taking in the trade standoff with Beijing, but his senior aides later insisted the president was talking about whether he should have imposed even harsher tariffs. On Monday, he went back to his threats against the Chinese, saying if no deal is reached he would like U.S. businesses to leave China.The shifting statements, Mr. Trump insisted, are by design.”Sorry. It’s the way I negotiate,” Mr. Trump told reporters Monday.The president also claimed to be an environmentalist – and the best president ever on the environment – after being the only world leader to skip a climate change meeting.”I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that,” Mr. Trump said.Follow along below for updates from earlier.
“I’m an environmentalist,” Trump says after skipping climate meeting
Mr. Trump claimed to be an environmentalist – the greatest environmentalist who has ever been president – after skipping the G-7 climate change meeting.
The White House claimed he skipped the climate change meeting to tend to matters with Germany and India, although he was the only leader of the seven to skip the gathering.”I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that,” the president told reporters.”I think I know more about the environment than most people,” he added.But he cares more, he said, about keeping the U.S. wealthy.
Trump on his shifting statements on China: “Sorry. It’s the way I negotiate”
Mr. Trump has made a range of statements about the status of China trade talks and goals in recent days, threatening to step up tariffs on Friday and then praising his Chinese counterpart on Monday for actively reaching out to Washington to resume trade negotiations and “make a deal” to end a spiralling trade war.Asked about his seemingly ever-shifting statements, Mr. Trump responded: “Sorry. It’s the way I negotiate.”
Trump says he would “certainly invite” Putin to next year’s summit
Mr. Trump, asked if he would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s summit, said he certainly would, but can’t guarantee Putin would come because doing so might be “psychologically” difficult for Putin.
Host countries can invite leaders from anywhere they want. This year, Macron invited Iran’s foreign minister to the grounds of the current summit. Mr. Trump indicated he might invite Putin to next year’s summit in the U.S., which might be at one of his clubs in Florida.”I would certainly invite him,” Mr. Trump said, thought he added Putin might not want to attend.
Trump says he doesn’t care if Russia joining G7 hurts him politically
Mr. Trump, asked if he has any concerns about the political implications of potentially inviting Russia to the G-7, said he doesn’t care about what happens politically.”I don’t do things for political reasons,” Mr. Trump saidThe president has floated the idea of inviting Russia back into the group, after the Kremlin was cast out for annexing Crimea.”I’m only thinking about the world and I’m thinking about this country…I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent,” Mr. Trump said.Mr. Trump said Russia’s annexation of Crimea “could have been stopped,” and he blamed former President Obama for allowing it to happen. He claimed he would have apologized if such an incident took place under his watch.
Trump explains why he wants to host the next G7 at his own club
Mr. Trump, asked how he can reassure the American people he isn’t profiting off the presidency by wanting to host the next G-7 at his club near Miami in Florida, claimed he is losing money off the presidency.Mr. Trump says he thinks he’ll lose $3 billion to $5 billion by being president.”I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money,” the real state mogul told reporters.Mr. Trump went on to explain that his club in Florida has all the amenities world leaders could need, like the largest ballrooms and lots of parking.”With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings – we call them ‘bungalows.’ We have incredible conference rooms,” Mr. Trump said, calling the locale “natural.”
Trump claims Melania Trump has gotten to know Kim Jong Un very well
Mr. Trump went on a tangent about his relationship with North Korea strongman Kim Jong Un, saying that he’s “a man with a country that has tremendous potential,” and he claimed that first lady Melania Trump also has gotten to know him well.The first lady did not accompany the president to his meetings with the North Korean leader, so it’s unclear what Mr. Trump meant by that.
Macron says he “informed” Trump of Iranian foreign minister’s visit
Macron, asked by CBS News White House correspondent Ben Tracy whether he had asked Mr. Trump about inviting Iran’s foreign minister, said he “informed” Mr. Trump that Mohammad Javad Zarif was coming.France, Macron said, is still part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the U.S. withdrew from under Mr. Trump.
“We’re not looking for leadership change,” Trump says on Iran
Mr. Trump, asked about the U.S. relationship with Iran, said Iran isn’t the same country it was when he took office, even though the U.S. has increased pressure on Iran in an effort to make it forfeit its nuclear capabilities.But Mr. Trump said the U.S. isn’t looking for regime change.”We’re not looking for leadership change,” Mr. Trump said.The president said Macron alerted him to the Iranian foreign minister’s presence at the G-7 summit, even though the U.S. wasn’t informed of the visit in advance.”President Macron told me exactly what was happening,” Mr. Trump said.
Trump says he thinks China is sincere in wanting a trade deal
Mr. Trump said he thinks China is sincere in wanting to make a deal, even though that hasn’t necessarily been indicated tangibly by the Chinese.The president said he thinks that because he received a news alert of a Chinese official calling for calm.But earlier Monday, Mr. Trump said he received two phone calls from China wanting to make a deal. It’s unclear which statement is accurate, or if they somehow both are.”I believe they want to do a deal,” Mr. Trump said, claiming that the U.S. has collected more than $100 billion in tariffs from China.Mr. Trump said he thinks Chinese President Xi Jinping is a great leader and a “brilliant” man.
Macron says “uncertainty” from China trade war is bad for markets
Macron, asked if the United States’ trade war with China could hurt the global economy, said of course trade came up during their meetings.Macron said the trade war creates “uncertainty” with markets. Macron said Mr. Trump showed his willingness to come to an agreement over trade.
“Our deep wish is for an agreement to be found between the United States and China concerning trade,” Macron said in French through an interpreter.”What’s bad for the economy is uncertainty,” Macron said.
Trump calls G7 “successful” and says there was “tremendous unity”
Mr. Trump claimed there was “tremendous unity” at the G7 summit, even though he skipped a meeting on climate change to, according to the White House, tend to other meetings.
Macron says he’s trying to arrange a meeting between Trump and Iranian leader
Macron, in his opening remarks, said he’s trying to arrange a meeting in the next few weeks between Mr. Trump and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani.The Iranian foreign minister surprised the U.S. by showing up on the grounds of the G7 summit, although Mr. Trump claimed he wasn’t disrespected by that. The U.S. has taken an aggressive stance against Iran in recent months.Macron also said the G7 communique will touch on Libya, Syria, Hong Kong and Iran.
Press conference begins
French President Emmanuel Macron started off the press conference shortly after 10:30 a.m., speaking in French through an interpreter.
Both world leaders are expected to take questions from French and American reporters.Macron said he and Mr. Trump are holding the press conference together on Monday because the U.S. is hosting the summit next year.