Dem sen: ‘Difficult to understand’ Trump’s treatment of allies

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Health Care: Democratic gains mark setback for Trump on Medicaid work requirements | Senate Dems give Warren 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder | Judge strikes Trump rule on health care 'conscience' rights Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Former NAACP president to run for Cummings's House seat MORE (D-Md.) on Monday said that it’s “difficult to understand” President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE’s treatment of America’s allies.

“The manner in which he has treated our closest allies is really difficult to understand,” Cardin said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“These are democratic countries that share our values and yet the president seems to want to go alone when it comes to working with our closest allies.”

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The remarks come after Trump over the weekend said he would not sign a communique with the members of the Group of Seven (G-7). The president cited alleged “false statements” made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” the president tweeted Saturday.

Prior to Trump’s tweet, Trudeau had said all G-7 members signed the joint statement following the summit in Canada. 

The summit took place after the Trump administration said it would impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada and the European Union after previously providing those allies with brief exemptions.

On Sunday, Trump doubled down on his criticisms of the European Union and Canada, tweeting "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.”

Cardin, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump is the “outsider” in the G-7, a coalition that includes the United States, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“Diplomacy means bringing people together,” Cardin told CNN.

“But we start from strength and that is working with our closest allies. We don’t pull them apart. And President Trump, throughout his presidency, he started with criticizing our closest allies when he became president,” he added.