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Top EU figure: Trump is ‘undermining’ world order the US created
A top European Union (EU) figure said Friday that President Trump is "undermining" the U.S.-led international order.
"The rules-based international order is being challenged ... not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.," Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission, told reporters at a news conference according to The Washington Post. The conference took place ahead of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Canada.
"We will not stop trying to convince our American friends and President Trump that undermining this order makes no sense at all, because it would only play into the hands of those who seek a new, post-West order, where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist," he said.
Tusk spoke just hours after Trump had suggested Russia be reinstated into the group - a suggestion that garnered bipartisan condemnation.
"This is weak," said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a vocal Trump critic. "Putin is not our friend and he is not the president's buddy. He is a thug using Soviet-style aggression to wage a shadow war against America, and our leaders should act like it."
"Putin's Russia invaded its neighbors, violated our sovereignty by undermining elections, and attacks dissidents abroad," former Vice President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter. "Yet our President wants to reward him with a seat at the table while alienating our closest democratic allies. It makes no sense."
Russia was ousted from the then-Group of Eight in 2014 after annexing Crimea and supporting pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Tusk, in response to Trump's comments, suggested leaving the G-7 as it is.
"Naturally we cannot force the U.S. to change its mind," he said. "Of course we are open to reasonable arguments, whenever something doesn't function well. There is always room for debate. Even in difficult times like these, and despite all the differences, there is still much more that unites us, than divides us. It is far too early for our adversaries and enemies to celebrate."
Tusk's comments come amid heightened conflict between Trump and other members of the G-7 over trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a fiery message to Trump that promised to resist "hegemony" and stated that no leader "is forever."
"The six countries of the G-7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market," Macron said during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Ontario. "There will be no world hegemony if we know how to organize ourselves. And we don't want there to be one."
Last week, Trump sent shockwaves across the EU, Mexico and Canada - where the annual G-7 summit is being held this weekend - when he implemented stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the group, rolling back temporary exemptions.
Shortly after Trump's announcement, each responded with rhetoric condemning the president's decision to move forward with tariffs before announcing their own retaliatory measures against the U.S.
Macron reportedly told Trump that the tariffs were equal to "economic nationalism" and would penalize everyone, including the U.S.
Trudeau dubbed the tariffs an "affront," given Canada's deep-rooted ties to the U.S.
"These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms," he said.