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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

G-7

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Trump at the G-7:
A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power--having them inside the room is better than having them outside the room. By the way there were numerous people during the G7 that felt that way and we didn't take a vote or anything but we did discuss it. My inclination is to say yes, they should be in. They were really it was say President Obama--I am not blaming him but a lot of bad things happened with President Putin and President Obama. One of the things that happened was as you know what happened with a very big area a very, very big and important area in the Middle East where the red line was drawn and then President Obama decided that he was not going to do anything about it.

You can draw red lines in the sand--you just can't do it and the other was in Ukraine having to do with a certain section of Ukraine that you know very well where it was sort of taken away from President Obama--not taken away from President Trump, taken away from President Obama. President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him and he wanted (INAUDIBLE) Russia to be out of the--what was called the G8 and that was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin.
Michael Birnbaum and Philip Rucker at WP report on a Saturday dinner among the leaders.
Trump’s message was that “it doesn’t really make sense to have this discussion without Putin at the table,” according to a European official briefed on the conversation among the leaders.

The official, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sharp discussions at the summit.

The entire 44-year vision of the G-7 gathering, according to the non-U.S. participants, is to hash out global issues among like-minded democracies. So the discussion quickly turned even more fundamental: whether the leaders should assign any special weight to being a democracy, officials said.

Most of the other participants forcefully believed the answer was yes. Trump believed the answer was no. The pushback against him was delivered so passionately that the U.S. president’s body language changed as one leader after another dismissed his demand, according to a senior official who watched the exchange. He crossed his arms. His stance became more combative.
 ...
[H]aving such a forceful advocate for an authoritarian leader inside the room of democracies profoundly shaped the overall tone of the summit, one senior official said. 
The consequence is the same as if one of the participants is a dictator,” the official said. “No community of like-minded leaders who are pulling together.”