Trump, I would “certainly invite” Putin to next year’s G-7 summit

During a lengthy press conference at the G-7 summit of world leaders in France, President Trump suggested he might invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s G7 summit. The U.S. will be hosting the event next year — perhaps at Mr. Trump’s own golf club in Florida, the president suggested. Trump’s comments came 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.

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