President Trump on Friday called for Russia to be reinstated to the G7 group of leading industrial nations after the country was suspended from the then-G8 group in 2014 over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Trump made the comment while speaking to reporters on the South Lawn before departing for the G7 summit in Canada, adding that he has been “Russia’s worst nightmare.”
“With that being said, Russia should be in this meeting,” he said. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 8, 2018
“Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run,” Trump said. “And in the G-7, which used be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
The Hill added:
The president’s remarks could fuel criticism that he has been too friendly toward Russia, despite the country’s hostile actions against the U.S.
Trump has frequently expressed a desire to form a closer relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and brokering deals on the country’s military intervention in Ukraine and its involvement in Syria. The president is expected to face a barrage of criticism at the G-7 over his decision to impose steep tariffs on goods produced by U.S. allies, as well as pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement.