Even in Foreign Country, Trump Spots Weaselly CNN Question


It doesn’t take much for the President Donald Trump to spot what he calls “very fake news,” even when he’s in a French-speaking Canadian province where it might be called “très fausses nouvelles.”

As you may have heard, President Trump was in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Satureday for the G-7 economic summit, which was an occasionally contentious affair — particularly over tariffs between the United States and Canada. It was also the site of a news conference by the president, who quickly sussed out where a certain questioner was from.

The question had to do with a common thread in the media over the past 48 hours: That Trump is being friendlier with North Korea than he is to our traditional allies.

“As you were heading into these G-7 talks, there was a sense that America’s closest allies were frustrated with you and angry with you and that you were angry with them and that you were leaving here early to meet for more friendlier talks with Kim Jong Un in Singapore,” the questioner began.

“And I’m wondering if you would view it the same way and if you view the U.S. alliance system shifting under your presidency.”

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“Who are you with, out of curiosity?” Trump asked.

The reporter responded “CNN,” which elicited an eye roll from the president.

“I figured,” Trump said. “Fake news, CNN. The worst. I could tell by the question — I have no idea you were with CNN, after the question, I was just curious as to who you’re with, you’re with CNN.

“I would say that the level of relationship is a 10,” Trump continued. “I would say we have a great relationship. Angela (Merkel) and Emmanuel (Macron) and Justin (Trudeau), I would say the relationship is a 10.

“And I don’t blame them, as I said, I blame our past leaders. There’s no reason this should happen. There’s no reason we should have big trade deficits with every country in the world. I’m going long beyond the G-7.”

“There’s no reason for that. It’s the fault of the people that preceded me — and I’m not just saying President Obama, I’m going back a long way,” Trump continued. “You can go back 50 years, frankly. It just got worse, and worse, and worse.

“We used to be a nation that was unbelievably cash-flow oriented. Had no debt of any consequence,” he added. “It was a lot different.

“No, we have a very good relationship. I don’t blame these people — but I will blame them if they don’t act smart and do what they have to do. Because they have no choice, I’ll be honest with you. They have no choice. They’re either going to make the trades fair” or he wouldn’t do trade deals with them, Trump said.

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He added that while he rated the relationship a 10, “that doesn’t mean I agree with what they’re doing.” That should probably be the major takeaway from the news conference. Trump never said why he rated U.S. relations with its allies a 10, after all, and I suspect it likely has more to do with his agenda than any camaraderie. Given his past thoughts on Chancellor Merkel or Prime Minister Trudeau, even in the past few weeks, I don’t think his 10 is based on any great reservoir of love for his fellow G-7 leaders.

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As for CNN, as I noted previously, the thread weaving its way through G-7 coverage by the media was that the North Korea summit and tensions at the meeting in Quebec were somehow indicative of the fact that America was cozying up to North Korea.

This is prima facie rubbish.

Kim Jong Un’s regime currently faces almost every possible sanction from both the United States and its allies, sanctions that likely won’t come off immediately no matter what takes place in Singapore over the next few days. Meanwhile, the tensions in Charlevoix were over tariffs and Russia. There was no talk of any of the G-7 nations sanctioning each other — merely disagreements.

The idea that Trump will somehow spend the next few years watching soldiers goose-step through the streets of Pyongyang atop a parade balcony with Kim is bunkum of the highest order. The fact that this was even a question represents très fausses nouvelles of the highest order.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture