President Donald Trump arrived in Quebec, Canada Friday for what is likely to be an incredibly tense meeting of the economic superpowers known as the Group of 7 (G7) — Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and the U.S.
The meeting is expected to be tense, and this is largely Trump’s fault. Some experts have even dubbed the meeting the G6+1 to mark how isolated Trump has become from the other world leaders.
In recent weeks, he has imposed a number of punitive tariffs on the European Union and Canada, which only served to heighten the tension between the U.S. and its allies that has been brewing since Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.
On Friday, Trump suggested that Russia should be reinstated in the group, despite its expulsion in 2014 for President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Trump faces a tough crowd of his own making. In the days leading up to the summit, he’s fumed about his fellow G7 leaders, and in some cases they’ve bitten back. Here are some choice quotes in the war of words.
‘We don’t mind being six, if needs be’
Tensions continued to mount as Trump headed to Canada on Friday morning. Hours before, French President Emmanuel Macron offered a veiled warning to his U.S. counterpart, who had continued to mouth off against his G7 peers.
“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron said, per Reuters.
‘Trudeau is being so indignant’
In a Twitter rant on Thursday, Trump lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, venting about Canadian tariffs on U.S. dairy products.
‘Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?’
In a tense phone call with Trudeau on Wednesday over the recent tariffs, Trump reportedly jabbed at Canada by accusing the country of burning down the executive residence in Washington. It was apparently a reference to the War of 1812, in which case it was erroneous — it was the British who did it.
‘If we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them’
This was Macron after a phone call with Trump that White House aides described as “terrible.” Macron declined to share his own sentiments on the phone call, invoking the Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck in a conversation with reporters. “So I like it when people see the finished meal, but I’m not convinced the kitchen commentary helps with delivering the meal or eating it.”
‘Unjustified and deeply disappointing’
This is how British Prime Minister Theresa May described Trump’s latest tariffs on steel and aluminum coming out of Europe. The comment underscored the awkward tensions rising between the U.S. and one of its oldest allies.
‘There will be difficult discussions’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed cynicism earlier this week about her prospects for the G7 summit, slyly faulting the Trump administration for its abandoning of old allegiances. “We have a serious problem with multilateral agreements, and that’s why there will be contentious discussions”, she said, per AFP.