President Trump attempted to rewrite history on Monday over Russia’s expulsion from the G8, hyping Russian President Vladimir Putin for apparently outsmarting President Obama while he discussed his interest in bringing Russia back into the fold of economic global leadership.
During a press conference at the tail end of the G7 summit Monday in France, Trump argued that he’d rather have Russia involved in the would-be G8 than having the leader not in the room. He then suggested that Putin “outsmarted” Obama when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. That move got Putin booted from the then-G8.
“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 the what was called the G8. That was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin. He was outsmarted. President Putin outsmarted President Obama,” Trump said.
“And I can understand how President Obama would feel. He wasn’t happy. And they’re not in for that reason,” he continued. “Now, I’m only thinking about the world and I’m thinking about this country in terms of the G7, whether it’s G7, G8. I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent. Do we live either way? Yes, we live either way. Is it politically popular for me to say that? Possibly not.”
Trump claims reason Russia was booted from G-8 is because Putin "outsmarted" Obama pic.twitter.com/kEFCeyFLqv
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 26, 2019
It’s not the first time Trump has appeared to take Putin’s side on a number of issues, including when he infamously accepted Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election, despite the findings of his own intelligence community.