Aides accuse Macron of seeking to embarrass Trump with G-7 focus on 'niche issues'

Members of the Trump administration have reportedly complained about the focus of the latest Group of Seven (G-7) summit hosted by French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronState calls for Azerbaijan to pull back forces from Armenia border Thousands protest in French cities in fight against climate change Biden to record video message for 'Vax Live' concert MORE in Biarritz, France. 

The aides told The New York Times that the meetings between world leaders are focusing far too much on "niche issues" rather than economic problems the countries must confront. 


They claimed that the summit's tackling of issues such as climate change and income and gender inequality was a sign of Macron's attempt to dictate the summit in a way that would highlight his differences with Trump. 

Among other things, they said Macron's administration denied their attempts to place more focus on global economic issues. They also accused Macron of trying to harm the G-7 by pushing the summit away from an economic focus.  

“France, this year’s host, wants the Group of 7 to stay silent on these core economic issues,” White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

Trump and Macron held a private lunch on Saturday before the beginning of the summit. At their meeting, Trump said that the two had a "very good relationship."

“We've been friends for a long time. And every once in a while, we go at it just a little bit — not very much. But we get along very well. We have a very good relationship — sort of, I think I can say, a special relationship,” he said. “And I think we'll accomplish a lot this weekend, and I look forward to it.”

Macron outlined the weekend's agenda during their impromptu meeting, saying that the summit would discuss matters relating to Libya, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Iran.

Some administration officials expressed issues with the agenda Macron laid out at the luncheon, according to Politico.  

“It’s our view that with France trying to drive these other issues outside of global economics, national security and trade, they're trying to fracture the G7,” the official reportedly said. 

The latest developments came amid an escalating trade war between the Trump administration and China. On Friday, Trump ignited deeper concerns about the health of the economy by calling for U.S. companies to stop doing business with China. 

The demand arrived after China announced new tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. automotive parts, farm products and other goods.