Trump moves to cool tensions as G7 summit wraps up
President Donald Trump closed out this year’s G7 summit in the French resort town of Biarritz, with a press conference that touched on everything from trade, Iran, climate change, Russia and the location for next year’s summit.
Jonah Green reports.
President Donald Trump closed out this year's G7 summit in the French resort of Biarritz, with a press conference that touched on everything from trade, Iran, climate change, Russia and next year's summit.
On Iran, Trump said he was open to meeting with Iran's president under the right circumstances to end a confrontation over a 2015 nuclear deal and that talks were underway to see how countries could open credit lines to keep Iran's economy afloat.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "I think Iran wants to get their situation straightened out.
Is that based on fact or based on gut?
That's based on gut" But Trump ruled out compensating for losses by Iran for amid crippling sanctions.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "We're not paying.
We don't pay.
But they may need some money to get them over a very rough patch.
But if they do need money, it would be secured by oil, which is great security." This comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron stunned other leaders by inviting Iran's foreign minister to Biarritz for talks on the stand-off between Washington and Tehran.
On Trade, leaders expressed concern that Trump's trade war with China could spiral outward, and called for a sensible resolution.
SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "Just to register as a faint sheep-like note of our view on the trade war, we are in favor of trade peace on the whole." SOUNDBITE (FRENCH) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "What's bad for the world economy is uncertainty." But Trump defended his often contradictory statements on China as, essentially, a tactic.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "Sorry!
It's the way I negotiate." Trump also pressed the group to reinstate Russia as a permanent member, though French President Emmanuel Macron said there was no consensus on whether that would happen.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent instead of outside the tent." The group year focused on climate change amid a backdrop of a burning Amazon and a month after Earth recording its hottest month on record.
At Monday's panel on climate change and biodiversity, there was only one no-show among leaders: Trump.
When asked why, he said that US wealth is based on energy exports.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "The United States has tremendous wealth.
That wealth is under its feet...I'm not gonna lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills, which frankly don't work so well." The United States will host next year's G7 summit.
As for a venue, Trump suggested a golf club he owns in Miami.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "The ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida, and the best." But the president brushed aside concerns that he'd profit personally by hosting the annual gathering of world leaders.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "In my opinion I'm not going to make any money.
Probably it'll cost me anywhere from three to five billion dollars to be president." One thing this year's summit didn't have was a joint communique.
In its stead, host country France released a statement saying the seven industrialized nations were committed to open and fair world trade and to global economic stability.