Trump had been goading NATO members over failing to spend 2% of their GDP on defense as previously agreed in the run-up to the summit, then on Wednesday suddenly said that 2% wasn't enough and that it should be doubled to 4%.
According to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Trump made the suggestion in a meeting of NATO leaders before immediately leaving the room without seeing the reaction to his remarks. The White House confirmed Trump made the suggestion, but it was not clear if it was an off-the-cuff remark or a serious policy proposal. On Thursday, the second and final day of the summit, Trump tweeted the 4% commitment line. At a closing-summit press conference, Trump said the US was committed to NATO but could still "probably" unilaterally withdraw if he wanted to.
Trump left European governments bewildered at a G7 summit of world leaders in Quebec last month when he suggested Vladimir Putin's country should be readmitted to the group (despite having an economy around the size of Australia or South Korea).
"It used to be the G8 because Russia was in it," Trump said in response to a reporter's question outside of the White House on his way to the summit. "Now Russia's not in it. Now, I love our country. I have been Russia's worst nightmare. If Hillary [Clinton] got in, I think Putin is probably going, 'Man, I wish Hillary won.' Because you see what I do. But with that being said, Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?"
Discussing Russia with the six other leaders during the G7 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined a detailed and thorough list of President Putin’s actions to explain why she was against Russia returning to the G7/G8, a diplomat who was present told BuzzFeed News.
"Good pitch. You could have been an excellent salesman," Trump said, according to the same diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Merkel was not amused. She replied, "I find that very insulting," the diplomat added.
During a discussion on foreign affairs with other leaders over dinner at the G7, Trump said Crimea, which Russia invaded and then annexed from Ukraine in 2014, was Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.
Two diplomatic sources told BuzzFeed News Trump also seemed to ask why G7 leaders were siding with Ukraine, which he said was "one of the most corrupt countries in the world."
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde's face says it all. Trump also left the G7 summit early to fly to Singapore for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (We're not getting into that meeting here, but a lot of crazy shit went down there too.)
After much heated debate about trade at the G7, the US signed up to a joint final statement. But then Trump tweeted that he had changed his mind because of something Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference.
Got to get to the front of that queue.
At the end of a one-and-a-half-hour-long meal at last year's G20, Trump walked around the table to talk to the Russian president. What caught other leaders’ attention when Trump walked over to Putin toward the end of the evening was not that the conversation was happening — but how long it lasted.
A source present on the night told BuzzFeed News the two chatted for a “long time,” emphasizing the point — “long” — several times in an exchange of messages.
The meeting took place without aides present, and only with Putin’s interpreter.
Having accompanied Ivanka to the meeting, POTUS left before returning to later take his place among world leaders. A source told BuzzFeed News, "Incredible!!!"