Trump Greets Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Promptly Walks Off Stage

President Donald Trump continued to represent the U.S. on Saturday when he walked off stage during what was supposed to be a photo opportunity for him and other world leaders at the G20 summit.

In video captured during this weekend’s summit in Argentina, Trump is seen strolling up to Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, shaking his hand briefly, then wandering away.

Macri can be seen gesturing for Trump to return before an aide chased after the U.S. president to get his attention. Both presidents were scheduled to take photos together with other world leaders, according to The Guardian.

As Splinter News points out, this is not Trump’s first time walking away aimlessly; nor is it his second, nor his third.

[Huffington Post]

Media

Donald Trump cancels G-20 news conference “out of respect” for George H.W. Bush

President Trump canceled a planned press conference at the G-20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, citing respect for former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at the age of 94. Mr. Trump’s planned unilateral news conference for Saturday afternoon was expected to cap an eventful trip, amid domestic legal concerns and troubled international relations.

“I was very much looking forward to having a press conference just prior to leaving Argentina because we have had such great success in our dealing with various countries and their leaders at the G20,” Mr. Trump said in the first of two tweets. “However, out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference.”

Mr. Trump and the first lady will attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. next week.

The press availability was supposed to occur after Mr. Trump’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day.

Mr. Trump was expected to be asked about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid new developments in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, which was intended for Saturday morning, on Thursday via Twitter, citing Russian aggression against Ukraine. His announcement came shortly after Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former private lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress as part of the special counsel investigation.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Mr. Trump’s decision to cancel the news conference was in no way influenced by Cohen’s plea deal.

“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well. Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia. However, the reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine. Hopefully, that will be resolved soon so that productive conversations can begin,” Sanders said.

[CBS News]

Trump Rages at Media for Reporting Previously Undisclosed Meeting with Putin

President Donald Trump scolded the media Tuesday night in a pair of tweets defending his apparently hourlong, previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

The meeting took place at the G-20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany, hours after the two leaders met in a highly publicized formal meeting that lasted for more than two hours.

News of the second conversation, which occurred at a private dinner at the G-20 Couples’ Dinner, reignited concerns over Trump’s relationship with Russia.

“Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick.’ All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!” Trump said on Twitter.

“The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!” he tweeted seven minutes later.

However, as several journalists pointed out, the existence of the private dinner was never in question. Coverage of the conversation focused on its unusual length and the fact that there is no government record of it. Trump did not use an American translator during the interaction, instead relying on Putin’s translator.

Ian Bremmer, president of geopolitical risk firm Eurasia Group, said other attendees were shocked by the conversation.

“Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care,” Bremmer told the New York Times. “They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled.”

The White House released a statement saying “all the leaders circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely.”

“There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner,” the statement continued. “The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd.”

[Business Insider]

Reality

The specter of an inexperienced president, engaged alone in a lengthy, private exchange with the cunning and seasoned leader of an adversarial nation defies every rule of diplomacy and good sense. Such scenarios play to the advantage of the other side — leaving ours prone to manipulation.

And it is highly unusual for a president to have such a conversation without, at a minimum, his own translator to avoid any misinterpretation on either side.

Trump: ‘Everyone’ at G-20 talking about Podesta not giving server to authorities

At this week’s G-20 summit in Germany, one subject the world’s most powerful leaders are discussing is why Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman did not cooperate with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials as they investigated cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

“Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning. He did not explain why Podesta, who did not work for the DNC, would have been responsible for its email server.

Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the DNC, noted that discrepancy in a post to Twitter, linking to Trump’s post and writing that “1) Podesta never ran the DNC. 2) DNC worked with FBI to kick out Russians. Worked with DHS. 3) Putin make you tweet this before mtg?”

Amid the months-long swirl of reporting surrounding Russia’s efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential election, as well as allegations that Trump associates may have colluded with Russia in those efforts, the president has sought to cast blame on the DNC, former President Barack Obama and others for not doing enough to stop the hacking.

And while he has eagerly accused Obama, the DNC and Podesta of negligence or worse, the president has stopped short of outright blaming Russia for launching the campaign of cyberattacks. Instead, he has said only that he thinks Russia was involved, but that other nations and individuals could have been involved as well.

Trump said Thursday at a press conference that “nobody really knows for sure” if Russia was behind the campaign of cyberattacks, even though the intelligence community he leads as president has expressed certainty that the Kremlin is to blame.

The president is scheduled to meet Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the pair’s first face-to-face meeting since Trump’s election. The White House has not said whether or not Trump plans to bring up Russia’s campaign of election-year cyberattacks.

[Politico]

Reality

At this week’s G-20 summit, Donald Trump again attacked an American while on foreign soil.

Two issues here:

  • Podesta worked for the Clinton campaign and did not work for the DNC, so he would not have been responsible for its email server.
  • Reporting about the DNC hack shows the FBI never asked for the servers. (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html)

Trump Describes The “Trumpertantrum” He Would Throw Over Air Force One Staircase Mishap at G-20

Donald Trump said Monday that he would have left the G-20 summit in China over a logistical flap that left President Obama disembarking Air Force One onto a plain metal staircase.

The president’s subdued arrival on Saturday afternoon, from a secondary exit on the presidential plane, stood in contrast to other world leaders who departed their planes onto red-carpeted stairs — and some, including Trump, perceived it as a snub by Chinese officials.

They won’t even give him stairs, proper stairs to get out of the airplane. You see that? They have pictures of other leaders who are … coming down with a beautiful red carpet. And Obama is coming down a metal staircase,” Trumps said Monday at the beginning of a roundtable with labor leaders in Brook Park, Ohio.

“I’ve got to tell you, if that were me, I would say, ‘You know what, folks, I respect you a lot but close the doors, let’s get out of here,’” he added. “It’s a sign of such disrespect.”

The Clinton campaign quickly seized on the comments and criticized Trump’s temperament. “Temperament Update: Trump would leave G-20 mtg b/c the staircase offended him and he was wrong abt the staircase,” tweeted Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson.

Trump has regularly accused Obama of failing to show strength against foreign leaders and has pointed specifically to Air Force One arrivals to make his point. He made similar claims that Obama had provoked a national embarrassment when Obama visited Cuba and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, calling decisions by the heads of state not to greet Obama at the airport “unprecedented.”

“The truth is they [other countries] don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there, nobody, to greet him. Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then, amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect,” Trump said in April.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker rated that comment false, giving it four Pinocchios and noting that heads of state have opted not to greet American presidents on airport tarmacs in the past.

Trump, talking about the staircase, added that he “guaranteed it was built in China, it wasn’t built here, okay?” The stairs in question, which folded out from the center of the plane, were part of Air Force One.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

This is yet more evidence that Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be a world leader on a global stage if he would throw a fit over a small logistical mishap.

Media