Trump: It would be ‘good for the world’ if Russia was back in G-7
President Trump doubled down on his earlier comments calling for Russia to be reinstated to the Group of Seven (G-7), formerly the Group of Eight (G-8), during his comments to reporters on Saturday.
At a press conference, the president pointed out that Russia was formerly included in the group of leading industrialized nations, adding that it would be an “asset” for the G-7 to include the country once more.
“Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” Trump told reporters.
“I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russia, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries in the G-7,” he added. “I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking to have peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.”
Russia was removed from the G-8 in 2014 after the country’s annexation of Crimea, after the region held a referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine. The move was largely condemned by the international community, including the Obama administration. On Saturday, Trump questioned why his predecessor didn’t do more to counter Russia in the region.
“You have to ask President Obama because he was the one that let Crimea get away during his administration,” Trump told reporters. “Obama can say all he wants but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude.”
Trump has frequently deflected criticism of his treatment of Russia by pointing to past actions from the Obama administration, which he blames for not taking further steps to expose Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections.
“Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election?” Trump asked on Twitter last month. “Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart!”
The former president imposed new sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats after the election, and said in December 2016 that he did not take more public action to avoid the appearance of aiding Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
“There have been folks out there who suggest somehow if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow it would potentially spook the Russians,” Obama said. “I think it doesn’t read the thought process in Russia very well.”