The president’s narrative stands in stark contrast to what is happening on the ground. That raises serious questions.
At the Group of Seven meeting in Biarritz, France, there are, in effect, two different summits underway—one that’s happening in President Donald Trump’s mind, and another that is actually happening on the ground; there’s the summit Trump is trying to will into existence, and the summit unfolding in real time.
To hear Trump tell it, predictions that the weekend summit would be contentious were all wrong. Only the “Fake and Disgusting News” would conclude that his relations with the other leaders meeting in the coastal resort were “very tense,” he tweeted, when in fact, they were “getting along very well.” His counterparts, he insists, are coming forward and agreeing with him it’s a good idea to re-admit Russia to the group, he said Sunday (it was tossed out in 2014 after it annexed Crimea). He’s hearing broad support for his trade dispute with China and a lunch visit Saturday with Emmanuel Macron was the best he’s had yet with his French counterpart, he said.