France's Macron urges Trump to stay in Paris pact
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 0:05
Anxious about Trump's tendency to make things worse for himself with unscripted remarks, the White House staff has kept the president a safe distance from journalists for most of the trip.
Cohn was referring to whether Trump will execute his threat to walk away from the Paris accord on combatting climate change.
Down to the final day of his lengthy first worldwide trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the conclusion of a G7 summit in Sicily on Saturday that a debate between leaders over climate had been "very unsatisfying", noting the United States had been totally isolated in its refusal to commit to the 2015 Paris climate agreement. "He came here to learn and get smarter".
James Comey, the former FBI director leading the Russian probe until Trump abruptly fired him, is still expected to testify before Congress about the memos he kept on conversations with the president that involved the investigation. A novice in global affairs, Trump has been surprisingly candid about the impact his conversations with world leaders have had in shaping his views on numerous issues.
On his first overseas tour, the new president made no attempt to publicly promote democracy and human rights in Saudi Arabia, instead declaring that he wasn't there to lecture. So there was a lot to talk about and, for the other six leaders, significant persuading to do.
And on trade, Trump was caught having stoked a contentious fire, as the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported the president had told leaders of the European Union before the summit began that the Germans were "bad" for having a large trade surplus with the United States.
Almost 200 countries are part of the Paris accord, and each sets its own emissions targets, which are not legally binding.
The G7 summit has ended in deadlock without any agreement with the U.S. to commit to the Paris climate agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The Trump administration has argued that the US standards are tougher than those set by China, India and others, and therefore have put American businesses at a disadvantage. He said numerous European leaders noted that even if a hundred countries are parties to an agreement, there's "a big gap when you take the biggest economy out".
The summit, being held near Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, is the final leg of a nine-day tour for Trump which started in the Middle East. Today, his successor is defiant about stepping out of the G7 line.
But first Trump has to finish the day in Sicily, which includes a meeting with small African nations and a G-7 leader lunch.
Cohn said Trump was struck during his discussions Friday by "how important it is for the United States to show leadership". Only five of NATO's 28 members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.
In fact, discussions over the climate deal have sown divisions within the White House, splitting the nationalists and the globalists - including Cohn - who are competing for influence within Trump's administration. Trump received multiple standing ovations - one of his favorite measures of success - during a speech on USA relations with Israel.
Trump was cajoled for three days - first in Brussels at meetings of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, then in Sicily for G-7 - but will leave Italy without making clear where he stands.
Macron praised Trump's "capacity to listen" and said "I found someone who is open and willing to deal well with us".
A senior French official said Macron and Trump spoke at length about the Paris agreement - at Macron's behest - when they met for lunch Thursday.
Trump betrayed no awkwardness at relishing the warm embrace of one of the world's most oppressive governments.
TRT World's Francis Collings reports from Italy.
Everything is happening so fast - or at least that's how it feels trying to follow politics these days.
And Trump's policy agenda has run into problems. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying.
He says, "it allows you to communicate in a discreet manner".