Trump administration officials have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of trying to embarrass President Trump by focusing on “niche issues” like climate change rather than the economy at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Biarritz, France.
Despite Trump publicly bragging about his “special relationship” with Macron, who is hosting the G-7 summit, Trump aides are privately complaining to The New York Times that the meetings between world leaders are focusing far too much on “niche issues” rather than the global economic problems facing their nations.
Senior administration officials complained that the summit’s tackling of issues such as climate change and income and gender inequality designed to highlight disagreements between Trump and Macron.
They also accused Macron’s administration of denying their attempts to place more focus on global economic issues and of trying to harm the G-7 by pushing the summit away from an economic focus.
“France, this year’s host, wants the Group of 7 to stay silent on these core economic issues,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.
Trump and Macron held a private lunch on Saturday before the start of the summit.
“We’ve been friends for a long time. And every once in a while, we go at it just a little bit — not very much. But we get along very well. We have a very good relationship — sort of, I think I can say, a special relationship,” Trump said at the meeting. “And I think we’ll accomplish a lot this weekend, and I look forward to it.”
Macron told reporters that the summit would discuss matters relating to Libya, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Iran.
“It’s our view that with France trying to drive these other issues outside of global economics, national security and trade, they’re trying to fracture the G7,” administration officials said about the agenda Macron laid out at the luncheon, according to Politico.