Trump Calls for Russia to Rejoin G7, Says Putin 'Outsmarted' Obama
President says 'Russia should be a part of it because we're looking for world peace'
President Donald Trump is calling for Russia to be invited to rejoin the G7, saying the move would be vital in working toward "world peace."
Trump says giving Russia a seat at the table would give a better opportunity to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin more directly regarding issues with his nation.
The president also stated that Putin "outsmarted" his predecessor, President Obama - on both the Crimea situation and on Syria's chemical weapon use.
President Trump says Barack Obama "was upset" so he kicked Russia out of the now-Group of Seven.
"He made a living on outsmarting President Obama," Trump explained.
"And frankly, because of it, Obama was upset, and he got Putin out of what was the G8 into the G7.
"It's come up: Should we put Russia back in?
"We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings."
According to the Daily Mail, Trump noted that it would take a vote of the current G7 membership, which includes new blood in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, to get Russia back into the elite group.
"I think Russia should be a part of it because we're looking for world peace, and it's -- and other things -- trade and other things," Trump told reporters as he left the White House.
"And it would be a lot easier to have Russia in, where they had always been."
Trump said Tuesday that it would be "appropriate" for Russia to retake its seat at the table with the world's most advanced economies.
"It was the G8 for a long time, and now it's the G7," the president continues.
"And a lot of the time we talk about, we talk about Russia, Russia — because I've been to numerous G7 meetings.
"And I guess President Obama - because Putin outsmarted him - President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out."
World leaders booted Russia from the club that was once known as the G8 in 2014.
A statement on behalf of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the UK, and Japan explicitly cited Russia's incursion into Ukraine.
Trump has said since 2018 that Russia should be readmitted, although he's received limited backing from the organization's other member governments, and Russia has indicated that it doesn't have a strong desire to rejoin.
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He revisited the topic as he prepared on Tuesday to travel to Biarritz over the weekend for the yearly conference, where he'll meet with Boris Johnson for the first time since the like-minded conservative's party elevated him to the prime minister.
Trump said that he would be willing to allow Russia to rejoin the group if "somebody" made a motion within the group.
"I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in, particularly the G8 because a lot of things we talk about have to do with Russia," he argued.
Trump said, "So, I can certainly see it being the G8 again, if somebody would take that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about very favorably."
He claimed for a second time that Obama was the one who orchestrated Putin's removal.
"But as you know, for most of the time, it was the G8 It included Russia, and President Obama didn't want Russia in because he got outsmarted," he added.
"Well, that's not the way it really should work."
Leadership has turned over in several G7 countries, including the U.S., UK, and France since the countries punished Russia for the use of force in Crimea.
Economic sanctions remain on the nation, however, that was allowed to retain its seat on the United Nations' Security Council.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov wasn't enormously enthused in 2018 when Trump floated a return for Russia to the G8.
"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7," Peskov said via state media outlet Sputnik, using the informal organization's group's current name.
Trump coincidentally lost the only vocal backer of the suggestion on Tuesday with the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Conte said last year that including Russia is "in the interests of everyone," seconding Trump's proposal in a tweet.