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Merkel finds Trump's action sobering, depressing

11 June 2018

The top White House economic adviser accused Canada's prime minister on Sunday of betraying President Donald Trump with "polarizing" statements on US trade policy that risked making the American leader look weak on the eve of a historic summit with North Korea.

In a flurry of tweets from Air Force One, en route to Singapore for a historic nuclear summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, Trump accused the summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being "very dishonest". "The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing as well", she told Germany's Anne Will talk show on Sunday evening.

Merkel said she first found out about Trump's decision on the flight back from Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked things off without Trump, and when he finished his opening remarks Isabelle Hudon, Canada's ambassador to France, spoke next. But that didn't stop the Twitteratis from drawing inferences about the kind of "power dynamics" was at play at the Summit, where Trump seemed to not be in sync with the rest of the USA allies, as was perhaps evident by his decision to not endorse the joint statement.

Mere hours earlier, Trudeau had announced that all G7 countries had signed the joint communique.

U.S. President Donald Trump angered his G7 allies last week by slapping them with hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum - a move that prompted Canada and the European Union to threaten duties of their own.

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival
On Sunday, Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore where he is expected to hold a meeting with US President Donald Trump on June 12. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said U.S. and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday.

But California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said Trump wasn't just taking on Trudeau, but all of the United States' best allies by not signing the G-7 statement after a two-day meeting in Canada with leaders of the world's largest industrialized economies. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on US imports.

Bizarrely, Trump admitted that he levied the tariffs in response to Canadian dairy protections - not for security reasons - and yet he called Trudeau a liar.

When a CNN reporter asked Trump to respond to a question about whether he had sowed division in the G7 in what many have described as a G6-plus-one scenario, the president excoriated the reporter for perpetuating "fake news". Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also called Trudeau's comments a stab in the back to Trump. The EU also won't be "taken for a ride" in its trade conflict with the United States, she said.

Looking ahead to the next major diplomatic encounter with Trump - a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance leaders in July - "it won't be easy", Merkel said.

Russian Federation was pushed out of what was then the G8 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

"I will blame them if they don't act smart and do what they have to do because they have no choice", he said.

Merkel finds Trump's action sobering, depressing