- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

President Trump said Tuesday he would prefer to let Russia back into the G-7 club of top industrialized nations, doubling down on his controversial view just days before this year’s round of talks kicks off in France.

“I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in,” Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office during a visit with the president of Romania.

Russia’s participation in the Group of Eight was suspended in 2014 after its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The country announced its permanent withdrawal in 2017.

Mr. Trump, who’s been criticized for his warm approach to President Vladimir Putin — particularly amid evidence of U.S. election interference in 2016 — argued Russia got booted because President Barack Obama “got outsmarted.”

Right now, the G-7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

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