UPDATE, June 24, 2020: This story contains tweets from the Twitter account of the White House press secretary. At the time of publication, Sarah Sanders was the press secretary and her name was on the Twitter account. Though the tweets in this story now look to be from the current press secretary, they are Sanders’ tweets from June 2018.
When a CNN producer tried to mock the work undertaken by President Donald Trump at the G-7 summit, press secretary Sarah Sanders was quick to put fake news in its place.
On Saturday, June 9, Dan Scavino, an assistant to the president, tweeted out a photo of what he called “negotiations” at the summit, The Daily Caller reported. The G-7, or Group of Seven, represents seven of the top global economies — the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) June 9, 2018
This year’s session was one in which leaders butted heads over trade, with Trump warning other nations not to take advantage of America on trade.
CNN producer Gene Hughes publicly threw shade on the image.
“Pretty clever visual messaging here from the White House — taking some kind of group signing event and framing it instead to show President Trump seemingly holding court, with the rest of the G7 leaders clustered in around him,” Hughes tweeted.
Sanders did not let that pass.
Dear @newsbyhughes @CNN,
Congratulations! Once again you are wrong. There is no “some kind of group signing” taking place. It was all negotiations. We were there. You were not. @Scavino45 tweet is 100% factual. Will you retract your “clever” and completely inaccurate tweet? https://t.co/iWhFfByiLn
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 9, 2018
“There is no “some kind of group signing” taking place. It was all negotiations. We were there. You were not. @Scavino45 tweet is 100% factual. Will you retract your “clever” and completely inaccurate tweet?” she added.
In time, Hughes had to admit defeat and deleted his comment.
Earlier today, I tweeted a photo of leaders at the G-7 and mistakenly referred to it as a signing event. The White House says the images were taken during negotiations between the leaders. I was incorrect, have removed the previous tweet, and apologize.
— Greg Hughes (@newsbyhughes) June 9, 2018
“Earlier today, I tweeted a photo of leaders at the G-7 and mistakenly referred to it as a signing event,” Hughes tweeted. “The White House says the images were taken during negotiations between the leaders. I was incorrect, have removed the previous tweet, and apologize.”
— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) June 9, 2018
European media shared a different angle of the image, which showed Trump, arms folded, eying German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, as the Independent Journal Review reported.
Actually, per source: leaders discussing protectionism & support for multilateral trade based on shared rules here. Merkel (& Macron) were pressing Trump, who wouldn’t budge on rejecting protectionism & endorsement of rules-based system. Still, Trump argued he was a free trader https://t.co/BLudZiykTQ
— Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) June 10, 2018
That angle sums up the contentious nature of the gathering, which was revealed in the post-summit comments of the various nations. Trump has accused America’s trading partners of unfair practices, and slapped tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum in retaliation. Canada has vowed to strike back with its own economic measures.
Trump posted a tweet of his own, saying the United States would not sign the post-summit communiqué, a comment that brought a round of antagonism from France and Germany, CNN reported.
The United States will not allow other countries to impose massive Tariffs and Trade Barriers on its farmers, workers and companies. While sending their product into our country tax free. We have put up with Trade Abuse for many decades — and that is long enough.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
“It’s actually not a real surprise. We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal. In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 Twitter characters. To build that up again will take much longer,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Sunday.
“We have had nothing like this before, simply on the sheer breadth and depth of the disagreements,” said Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former British foreign secretary, according to the Financial Times.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.