President Trump said during an address at the G-7 conference in France that his predecessor, former President Obama, was “outsmarted” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to a group of reporters about the possibility of adding Russia back to the international group after they were kicked from the G-8 five years ago, Politico reports Trump said he would be open to the idea.
According to the report, Trump said Russia embarrassed Obama “when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine — the official justification for Russia’s suspension from the G-8 in 2014.”
“President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him, and he wanted Russia to be out of what was called the G-8,” Trump said per Politico. “And that was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin. He was outsmarted.”
The United States is scheduled to host next year’s meeting, one which Trump said he would be open to extending an invitation to Putin.
“It would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent,” Trump said at the G-7 conference, adding that their participation is “good for [the] security of the world.”
Trump, speaking of Putin, said: “Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come psychologically? I think that’s a tough thing for him to do.”
“You have a G-8 — now it’s a G-7 — and you invite the person that was thrown out, really, by President Obama and really because he got outsmarted,” Trump continued.
Trump uses the global stage of the G-7 conference to assert former President Barack Obama was “outsmarted” and embarrassed by Russian President Vladimir Putin https://t.co/ZhZ0O5Dnpa pic.twitter.com/NupNt74YxF
— POLITICO (@politico) August 27, 2019
And, via Politico:
Trump expressed similar sentiments last week before embarking for France, disparaging Obama and hinting he would support Russia’s return to the international organization.
“I’ve gone to numerous G-7 meetings, and I guess … because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “So, he wanted Russia out, but I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in.”
And speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump said, “President Putin totally outsmarted President Obama on Crimea and other things including the ‘red line’ in the sand.”