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Former Washington Journalist
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Donald Trump spent a weekend meeting with world leaders largely trying to sell them on gathering next year at one of his luxury properties–but otherwise largely ineffective, according to a variety of political observers.
Trump traveled to last weekend to the G7 meeting of world leaders held in Biarritz, France where he skipped meetings but tried to sell his counterparts on gathering next year at his Doral Miami resort.
“…This felt much more like a G6 than a G7,” said former Republican congressman David Jolly. ” This is a president with each passing summit that we realize is simply not taken seriously on the world stage. He’s not respected. He’s not even feared, which was once kind of the calling card of Donald Trump, if you will, in his unpredictability, at least he was feared. This is a president that’s merely placated. He’s that relative at the family gatherings that you just nod your head and say, ‘Okay’ to. He’s the person in the south that they say, ‘Oh, sure, bless your heart,’ kind of thing.
“This is a president on the world stage who’s not respected by his peers,” Jolly added. “And among allies, I think why this was maybe noneventful, it’s okay among allies in freedom, but it’s among communities of nation states that weren’t there where it really is distressing, when we talk about his bilateral relations with Russia, his comments almost forgiving, if you will, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.”
Attorney Richard Painter slammed Trump’s performance at the G7, including trying to sell his resort for the next meeting.
“This would be illegal if he takes any money for hotel rooms for food or beverages or golfing or anything else. It is a clear violation of the United States Constitution,” said Painter, who was top ethics attorney in the George W. Bush White House. “Second, he’s using his presidency to promote his own that’s a conflict of interest entirely apart from the emolument clause.
“This is a president who shows no interest in the key topics of the G-7 meeting including climate change. He’s not willing to attend meetings. He does not want to show up for serious discussions but wants to use this to tout his business. It is an embarrassment for the United States that this is going on.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) particularly expressed outrage that Trump chose to skip the climate change meeting given the wildfires currently engulfing the Amazon rainforest.
“The power of television in the visual was so graphically demonstrated by that picture. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words. The empty chair at a climate change meeting, when literally the planet is burning in Brazil, when climate change is uppermost in the minds of many, many Americans who truly believe that it is caused by man and has to be addressed by all of us, that kind of abdication and absence of leadership is a profound disservice to our nation and our national security,” he said. “Because as our military leaders will tell you, and I know from my experience on the Armed Services Committee, climate change and global warming are a national security threat to the United States. That empty chair speaks volumes about the absence of leadership.”
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