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Trump is once again trying to pressure world leaders to give Russia a pass

Trump keeps lying about President Obama to defend Vladimir Putin.

By Oliver Willis - August 21, 2019
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Trump with Putin

Trump has spent the last year unsuccessfully trying to convince world leaders to readmit Russia to the group of seven world leaders, known as the G-7, by lying about President Barack Obama.

“I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him… thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in [the G-7],” Trump claimed on Wednesday. “So he wanted Russia out. But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in.”

That isn’t what happened.

Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move by Vladimir Putin that was widely criticized by international leaders. As a result, the planned meeting of the G-8 nations scheduled for Sochi, Russia, was canceled. Russia was expelled from the group and the remaining nations met in Brussels later that year.

Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012-14, rebuked Trump’s version of events.

“Putin did not ‘outsmart’ Obama or Merkel or anyone else in the G7,” McFaul wrote on Tuesday. “Putin annexed Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine & that’s why the other G7 democracies kicked him out.”

Last June, Trump attacked America’s allies for excluding Russia from the meeting.

“Russia should be in the meeting,” Trump complained at the time. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?” A week later he blamed Obama for the Crimean annexation, insisting it was Obama’s fault that Putin invaded Crimea “because Putin didn’t respect President Obama.”

As Trump was pressing his case last year, other G-7 leaders reaffirmed their support for Russia’s exclusion.

“Here we all agreed that a return of Russia to the G7 format summits can’t happen until substantial progress has been made in connection with the problems with Ukraine,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters last June. “That was the common view.”

Now, as the world leaders prepare for their annual meeting next week, Trump is back at it, trying to get Russia back into the meeting and saying it’s Obama’s fault that the hostile nation was excluded in the first place.

On Wednesday, Trump administration sources anonymously told media outlets that French President Emmanuel Macron supports Trump’s crusade to bring back Putin. But that appears to still be false.

A “French official pressed that Macron has not changed his position on the G8, which is that Russia cannot be allowed back in until there is movement on Ukraine,” CNN reported.

U.S. intelligence agencies, along with the Senate Intelligence Committee, have repeatedly confirmed that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election in an attempt to help Trump win.

Trump has repeatedly sided with Russia at key moments in his presidency, including bashing the intelligence community while standing shoulder to shoulder with Putin.

Despite all his advocacy for his political benefactor, world leaders show no sign of a willingness to do as Trump and Putin demand.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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