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As it happenedended1566855792

Trump misses climate meeting and says he’ll invite Putin to next G7 amid erratic behaviour at summit

Follow all the latest developments, as they happened

Clark Mindock
New York
,Adam Forrest
Monday 26 August 2019 16:40 BST
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Trump claims he will attend G7 climate meeting then fails to attend

Donald Trump has skipped a meeting about climate change and biodiversity attended by other world leaders at the G7 on Monday, in the latest sign that the American government does not view the global threat as a priority.

Separately, meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel, the US president claimed there was “great unity” on how to deal with the Iran crisis. Ms Merkel, however, said there was a long way to go on the issue, which has created considerable headache as tensions have flared between Tehran and Washington.

The snubs came just before Mr Trump attended a joint press conference with French president Emmanuel Macron, where the two leaders claimed to have found unity on many issues — from Iranian nuclear enrichment, to trade.

Later, after Mr Macron left the stage, the American president stuck around for a few questions, where he lavished praise on Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and at one point called himself an "environmentalist".

Mr Trump has also denied at the summit in France that he had suggested firing nuclear weapons at hurricanes — as was reported by Axios — and suggested his own Miami golf club for next year’s G7. He also claimed China had “called” to ask for trade talks – before a top Chinese official said he was unaware of any call.

Elsewhere, the 2020 Democratic primary field saw some heat, with a new poll showing Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden all in a statistical dead heat among national voters.

The poll marked a potentially dramatic fall for Mr Biden from the top of the race, and came after Ms Warren attracted a massive crowd in Seattle — one that has received plenty of media attention for its striking visuals.

Also, Mr Trump's own party's primary field has gotten a bit tighter, with the long-shot entry of former congressman Joe Walsh, a one-time Trump supporter who claims the president has simply gotten too cozy with Russia.

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Donald Trump's appearance at the G7 summit in the luxury French resort of Biarritz.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 11:20
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Donald Trump reportedly suggested firing nuclear weapons into hurricanes to prevent them hitting the US – a concept dismissed by his own government as “not a good idea”.

Tom Embury-Dennis has more.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 11:21
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Donald Trump says no decision has been made, but that Miami is the likely venue for next year’s Group of Seven summit. 

The US is hosting the 2020 summit, which is concluding Monday in France. He says the US can learn from what took place this year, saying “I think they did a really great job.” 

Trump told reporters that the US is looking to host the summit at a property which is just minutes from the Miami airport and has a lot of acreage and properties that would allow delegations from each G7 country to have its own building.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 11:26
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Donald Trump has been speaking with Angela Merkel this morning. The US president claimed he and the German chancellor had reached agreement on a lot of things, including trade.

Trump asked Merkel if she was holding a press conference today, and told her he’d like to attend “just to watch”.

Despite the expression of interest in her thoughts, the body language did not look great.

Angela Merkel and Donald Trump at G7 (AFP) 

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 11:30
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Donald Trump has also held a “great” meeting with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 11:32
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Donald Trump said there had been “great unity” among G7 leaders on the question of how to deal with Iran at a summit in France and they had “more or less” come to a conclusion.

However, German chancellor Angela Merkel, sitting beside him, said that while she and Trump had productive talks on Iran there was still a long way to go on the issue. 

Trump said he gave his approval to the unannounced invitation of Iran’s top diplomat on the margins of the G7 summit, denying Monday that he was surprised or angered.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s invitation was a bold gamble that he could secure a breakthrough in global tensions over Iran's nuclear program following Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal and impose new sanctions.

Macron and other leaders at the G-7 opposed the U.S. withdrawal from the painstakingly negotiated treaty and have been trying to salvage it ever since.

Some of the new US sanctions directly target foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose government plane landed Sunday in the locked-down seaside resort of Biarritz.

Trump would not say if any Americans met with Zarif during his brief time in Biarritz.

“It’s all very new,” he said.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 12:06
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Trump has found time at the G7 to lash out at Fox News, claiming that the conservative news network is not “what it used to be” after it issued a poll he didn’t like.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 12:12
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Donald Trump appeared to skip a meeting about climate change and biodiversity attended by other world leaders at the G7 on Monday.

US journalists have reported seeing Trump’s chair empty at the working session on climate, biodiversity and oceans – despite all the other G7 leaders being present. 

White House representatives have not yet responded to questions about whether Trump showed up after reporters left the room or if he skipped it entirely.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 12:15
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BREAKING: French president Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that Donald Trump failed to attend the G7’s climate meeting.

Macron said he had “long discussions” with the US president on the Amazon rainforest fires and other environmental initiatives, but Trump missed the session because of other bilaterals.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 12:23
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Despite Trump skipping the meeting, the G7 has agreed to an immediate $20 million fund to help Amazon countries fight wildfires and launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest.

The announcement came from French president Emmanuel Macron, the host of this year’s meeting of G7 leaders, and the Chilean president Sebastian Pinera.

Macron said that the Amazon represents the “lungs” of the planet and that leaders were studying the possibility of similar support in Africa, also suffering from fires in its rainforests.

Adam Forrest26 August 2019 12:30

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