Trump whips out the Putin card for snivelling allies
After Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and French president Emmanuel Macron intemperately mouthed off on Twitter about American awfulness ahead of the G-7 meeting in Quebec, President Trump got their goat by suggesting that Russian president Vladimir Putin be brought back into the group.
It was a clever move, whipping out the boogeyman of the left as a sort of agenda item, in a bid to teach those unruly leftist partners some manners.
According to the Daily Mail:
Trump's bold pronouncement came after he already has been engaged in angry back-and-forth with traditional allies France and Canada in a trade war. The Trump administration slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imported form [sic] the allies, citing a national security exception.
The Canadian prime minster blasted back mentioning Canada's military contributions in Afghanistan, while French President Emanuel Macron said Thursday the remaining six G6 nations could operate without U.S. leadership.
Russia was thrown out of the prestigious most developed nations club in 2014, following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of its Crimean peninsula, making the then-G-8 go back to being the G-7.
What we have here is Trump engaging in the art of the deal again, this time playing Bad Cop, given that they threw out the first shots against his tariff agenda. Instead of simply explaining to Trump the problems with tariff-slapping, which, as mannerly French-speakers, they should have done, they fired full bore at Trump, hoping he would cave. Well, he didn't. He threw a monkey wrench into their neat little plans by making the summit about letting Russia back in instead of keeping the focus on tariffs. How quickly they have now learned that he is better at playing such games than they are.
Russia, for its part, hasn't bit, still smarting from its wounds over diplomatic expulsions, which Trump cited, but who knows how the Russians might change their minds in a bid to take advantage? They might throw in their lot with leftists, which they have lately been doing, and then support Macron and Trudeau, or manipulate them easily from behind the scenes, but now Trump is back to his old Russia-friendly self, and they might respond to that, too. They play realpolitik, and that means they could either join in with Trump to teach the unruly allies a lesson or continue on their isolationistic course.
Regardless of how they go, Trump is in charge here, and now he's managed to discipline a couple of rude coevals on the international stage.