For all of Donald Trump’s shortcomings, he certainly makes up for them in his unwavering support of his bestie and idol, Vladimir Putin. Last week at the G7 summit, Trump took that support to an embarassing new low when he bashed every one of America’s allies for their choice to exclude the hateful “president” of Russia from their exclusive club.
Apparently, he didn’t stop embarrassing the country he claims to love when the cameras were off, either. Two diplomatic sources have confirmed to Buzzfeed News that Trump told his fellow leaders at the G7 that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.
(By that logic, every comic-con across the globe actually takes place on the planet Klingon since any good Trekkie can speak the language.)
In reality, Russian forces invaded Crimea and annexed the region from Ukraine in 2014. The move lead to many of the sanctions on Russia which Trump failed to uphold in 2017, and also resulted in Russia’s ejection from the G7, formerly known as G8.
It’s not just that Donald Trump has once again shown he has no cognitive grasp on current events, but the “Russian speaking region” defense is not his own. It is the same propaganda used by none other than Vladimir Putin who claimed he had the right to protect Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine at the time of the annexation.
Trump made the remarks at a dinner which took place in Quebec, Canada (but not inside a McDonald’s), according to Buzzfeed News’ statement from the diplomats. Both sources spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
Trump, who couldn’t comprehend anonymity if he tried, was far more vocal than the frightened diplomats. During the course of the dinner, Trump questioned why his peers were siding with “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” referring to Ukraine.
Considering the precedent Trump has set where nothing he says means anything, no one present could tell whether the remarks were said in jest or if he actually plans to radically restructure existing U.S. foreign policy.
Signs indicate he intends the latter, as he has been calling for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 since before he departed for the summit on Friday. Trump repeated that call on the summit’s second day, saying, “This used to be the G8, not the G7. Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in.”
He predictably blamed that “something” on his predecessor, Barack Obama, saying “Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea,” the action which ultimately lead to their ejection from the formerly-named G8.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, equally predictably, took the “I’ll have to get back to you” position on questions posed by reporters on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t comment on a conversation to which she was not privy.
Regardless of Trump’s personal feelings, leaders from the other six countries which make up the G7 – Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, and Canada — which represent the world’s most advanced economies will not allow Russia back into the club until progress is made in Ukraine, as they still see the invasion and annexation of Crimea as an egregious overreach by Putin.
The most interesting thing about this interaction, other than Trump’s obvious pandering to a malignant dictator posing as a president, is that Trump’s most fervent followers will still claim Trump has somehow made the U.S. “relevant” on the global stage once again, even as six other world leaders criticize him and his decisions.
Let’s just hope Trump’s big mouth doesn’t turn the G7 into a G6, leaving the door open for the brand new Evil 3 – Russia, North Korea… and Trump’s America.