‘He was outsmarted': Trump mocks Obama on world stage – POLITICO
President Donald Trump on Monday used the global stage of the G-7 conference to assert former President Barack Obama was “outsmarted” and embarrassed by Russian President Vladimir Putin — a stinging rebuke of his predecessor before an international audience.
Answering reporters’ questions at a news conference in Biarritz, France, Trump claimed Obama moved to oust Russia from what was the Group of Eight after he reneged on a 2012 threat of military force against Syria for perpetrating chemical weapons attacks.
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Trump alleged Obama was embarrassed when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine — the official justification for Russia’s suspension from the G-8 in 2014.
“President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him, and he wanted Russia to be out of what was called the G-8,” Trump said. “And that was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin. He was outsmarted.”
Spokespeople for Obama’s post-presidential office declined to comment on Trump’s statements.
U.S. presidents have historically worked to leave political squabbles at home while traveling abroad and generally have refrained from criticizing their predecessors so directly, especially while on foreign soil. But Trump has routinely broken from that norm, consistently using the spotlight of overseas trips to lash out at political foes and fuel longstanding feuds.
Trump also said he would consider inviting Putin to next year’s G-7 summit, which is scheduled to be held in the United States, remarking, “It would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent” and saying Russia’s involvement is “good for [the] security of the world.”
But Trump said he is unsure Putin would accept his offer to participate in the annual gathering of leaders of major industrial nations.
“Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come psychologically? I think that’s a tough thing for him to do,” Trump said. “You have a G-8 — now it’s a G-7 — and you invite the person that was thrown out, really, by President Obama and really because he got outsmarted.”
Trump expressed similar sentiments last week before embarking for France, disparaging Obama and hinting he would support Russia’s return to the international organization.
“I’ve gone to numerous G-7 meetings, and I guess … because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “So, he wanted Russia out, but I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in.”
And speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump said, “President Putin totally outsmarted President Obama on Crimea and other things including the ‘red line’ in the sand.”