Donald Trump calls for Russia to be invited back into the G7
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Tuesday he believed Russia should be invited back into the Group of Seven club of industrialized nations.
“I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in,” Trump told reporters ahead of his trip later this week to France where he will join other G-7 leaders at a summit.
The G-7 includes the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Italy.
Russia had been a member of the group – which at the time was known as the G-8 – but was ousted in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea.
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Trump has been criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for his efforts to build a rapport with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has repeatedly heaped praise on Putin, telling a Russian television reporter as recently as June that Putin is “a great guy,” despite the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to boost Trump’s chances of winning.
At the White House on Tuesday, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of mishandling the U.S. relationship with Russia, saying he believed Obama wanted Russia out of the elite group because Putin had “outsmarted” him.
However, the decision to expel Russia was backed not only by the U.S., but also by the group’s other six member countries.
Trump said Russia should be part of the group “because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia.”
“I could certainly see it being the G-8 again,” he said, “and if somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.”
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