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Trump, France's Macron discuss G-7 ahead of annual meeting

Trump, France's Macron discuss G-7 ahead of annual meeting
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE spoke by phone with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronEuropean strategic autonomy? Let's start with national autonomy French ambassador: Free speech is our best defense against hate crimes French president warns of steps to dissuade holiday ski trips to Switzerland MORE on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming Group of Seven summit of the world's largest developed economies.

“The President looks forward to participating in productive meetings with world leaders in Biarritz, France, in the coming days," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Wednesday.

Trump is due to leave Washington to attend the meeting over the weekend. Trump's call with Macron came the same day that he renewed support for Russia rejoining the meeting of major economies, arguing it would be appropriate to include Russia “because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia.”

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“So I could certainly see it being the G-8 again,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon. “And if somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.”

Russia was ousted from the annual meeting over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and its continued support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Macron, meanwhile, met with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin says doctors and teachers will get first COVID-19 vaccines in new immunization campaign Scarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? MORE on Monday and said at a news conference alongside him that Russia’s reinstatement would be contingent on Moscow helping end the conflict in Ukraine.

Trump on Tuesday did not make mention of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and asserted that then-President Obama ousted Russia from the meeting because Russian President Vladimir Putin had “outsmarted” him.

“President Obama didn’t want Russia in because he got outsmarted. Well, that’s not the way it really should work,” Trump said.