Kudlow: Trudeau stabbed us in the back

President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow says Trump pulled out of backing the G7 communique in reaction to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement criticizing the United States.

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 10:38 AM
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 10:40 AM

From somewhere above 31,000 feet, heading to his North Korean summit in Singapore, Donald Trump pitched a hand grenade into this weekend's G-7 meeting of the world's leading democracies.

In a fit of pique over remarks by the G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump reversed his decision to sign a closing communiqué carefully crafted by his six fellow members, tweeting from Air Force One, "I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!"

This last-minute reversal raises a dangerous question: How can Kim Jong Un trust that any agreement he makes with Trump would last beyond the setting of the next sun?

Of course, in Singapore, we will have perhaps the only two world leaders congenitally incapable of keeping any deal they've struck.

Still, G-7 2018 is in the books. The leaders of the other six leading democracies in attendance have now scattered to their homes. Yet the wounds Trump has left behind are deep and will not soon be forgotten.

So, what exactly happened along the idyllic shores of the Saint Lawrence River in a remote stretch of Quebec? The leaders of the developed world gathered for what promised from the outset to be a weekend of invective and calumny -- deepening conflict with Trump's America. Never mind that for much of the existence of this gathering, which dates back nearly a half a century, the United States served as the beacon of the world's leading democracies.

Outwardly, there were the usual smiles and handshakes, the first-name congeniality as the presidents, prime ministers and a chancellor assembled for their family photo and mugged for the cameras at photo-ops and preprandial gatherings. In the end, all seven thought they'd managed to paper over their differences with a joint communique signed by each country, including the United States.

But at his closing news conference, Trudeau suggested that he and others at the summit will hardly cave to Trump's tariff demands, adding that he found some of Trump's language "insulting" and that "we will not be pushed around."

On Sunday morning, Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trudeau's remarks were a "sophomoric political stunt." So to make sure, as Kudlow continued, that Trump did not "permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea," the president retaliated in kind -- pulling a stunt that could backfire badly.

The big question: Are stunts the stuff of good diplomacy, or the way friends and allies should treat each other?

Indeed, the knives were not concealed very carefully at all. As Trump bolted to avoid the most uncomfortable moments of the gathering -- debate over global warming, which he utterly rejects -- he left behind a bad taste everywhere he turned.

Arriving late to the get-together, he missed his chance for a substantive meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who had been his one friend until a tense phone call earlier in the week. Then, he appeared late for the breakfast to discuss gender equality the next morning.

How could it possibly get any worse? Well, the President offered a few hints. He could, it seems, simply end all trade with any of their nations if they don't stop what he defines as unfair trade practices. Or he could continue to press for the pariah state of Russia, which Trump may not even have realized had been ousted after it seized control of Crimea from Ukraine, to return to the group.

Even today, Russia, still unrepentant for this action, would be the only autocracy in the G-8, with a GDP that ranks below every other member and indeed below non-members Brazil, India, China and South Korea.

If much of diplomacy is optics, President Trump seems to have left his opera glasses at home. Why would any world leader want to reward this kind of bad behavior by arriving at a quick trade deal that will only enshrine threats as the standard for accomplishing a purpose that should be the carefully considered outcome of discussion and diplomacy?

In one fashion or other, it seems, most of the other G-7 leaders have felt betrayed. All these leaders believe deeply in the natural order of things and the value of preserving a global club of democracies, while Trump believes -- and has never demonstrated more clearly than in Charlevoix -- in simply shredding such values at will and for his own convenience or profit. This weekend's G-7 simply placed all these feelings in greater, starker relief.

Ironically, it appears increasingly as though Trump is more comfortable and less threatened when dealing with autocrats or dictators: Welcome Putin back to the G-8; jet halfway around the world to spend some quality time with Kim Jong Un, a leader ruthless to all, even his own family.

The question, which must remain unanswered, is whether this weekend has left America a step closer to embracing or professing preference for autocracy itself. Certainly, with Trump leaving an empty chair Saturday afternoon as the G-7 discussed climate change, sustainable energy and renewable fuels, America has abdicated its onetime leadership position on these critical issues.

The realization has finally dawned that Donald Trump does not respond to rhetoric or reason -- or to anyone ganging up on him. The leading French daily Le Monde observed that the G-7 is simply "a symbol of a multilateral cooperation which he abhors." He does respond, however to strength and spine.

So, the battle was not joined in Charlevoix. But it will likely be joined in the weeks to come in retaliation, or at least with fortitude, as the G-6 unite against what now appears quite clearly to be their declared and sworn enemy.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
After a cold start to the workweek, temperatures are expected to warm above average for the beginning of December.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events