- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2020

President Trump said Monday he wants to host the Group of Seven nations summit after the election, saying it will be a “better, calmer atmosphere” for the meetings.

Mr. Trump said he wanted to host the event in September but he decided there’s too much going on right now.

“Why don’t we do it sometime after the election? You have a little more time to think about it,” Mr. Trump said about the debate within the White House.

The date of the summit keeps slipping. It was supposed to be held early this year by teleconference because of the coronavirus, but Mr. Trump pushed to hold it in-person in Washington — perhaps at the White House or Camp David — in the early summer after the worst of the pandemic.

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders wavered, the president pushed the timeframe to the fall and said he wanted to invite several more countries to discuss their stance on China and other matters. The floated add-ons include South Korea, Australia, India and notably Russia, which was booted from the club of nations after annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Mr. Trump has pushed to include Russian President Vladimir Putin in the talks despite objections from others in the G7.

“I certainly would invite him to the meeting, I think he’s an important factor,” he said Monday. “We will invite certain people who aren’t in the G7.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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