- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

President Trump is downplaying the media’s reaction to the viral photo of the G-7 summit that showed him surrounded by other leaders.

Mr. Trump told George Stephanopoulos Tuesday night, Singapore time, that he has a “good” relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a “great” relationship with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“She was looking at me, you know what we were doing? We were talking while we were waiting for the final copy of the document,” the president said.

He explained that the photo in question was “innocent,” and that he wanted to “leave nicely” by signing the document.

“That was very friendly. I know it didn’t look friendly,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference in Singapore.

Angela Merkel described Mr. Trump’s actions at the G-7 as “depressing” to German news.

The president also commented on his relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he was surprised by Mr. Trudeau’s post-summit comments.

“And I said, ‘Oh that’s nice, Justin’s giving a’ — And then he talked about how they won’t be bullied. And I said ‘What’s this all about? He didn’t do that to my face, what’s this all about?’” he said.

The two traded tough rhetoric leading up the summit, which escalated after Mr. Trump left for Singapore. Mr. Trudeau implied that the president was a bully, while Mr. Trump called the Canadian leader weak.

“I actually like Justin, you know, I think he’s good, I like him, but he shouldn’t have done that. That was a mistake. That’s going to cost him a lot of money,” Mr. Trump said.

Despite saying his relationships with allies were well and good, the president continued his hard-line stance on the disadvantage trade deals with allies place on the U.S.

“In other words, when you add China and all of the other places, Germany, the European Union is a disaster for us,” he said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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