Trump cancels G20 meeting with Putin amid rising tensions
30 November 2018
As world leaders head to the G20 Summit, the United States is poised to intensify its conflicts with Russia, China and Europe.
Commenting on the fast-approaching event, the German weekly Der Spiegel called American President Donald Trump the “terror” of the assembled world leaders. No one, perhaps least of all Trump, knows the outcome of the summit in advance, or which part of the world will be the main target of US threats.
The explosive and unpredictable character of the summit was demonstrated by Trump’s hairpin turn Thursday on a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I probably will be meeting with President Putin,” Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for Buenos Aires. “I think it’s a very good time to have the meeting.”
Just an hour later, Trump took to Twitter to declare that he would not meet Putin, allegedly in protest over the Russian coast guard’s seizure of three Ukrainian Navy ships after they entered and refused to leave Russian-claimed waters for 12 hours.
In the hour between the statements, Trump spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, who were on the plane, and by telephone with National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Over that hour, another event had transpired. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer pled guilty to lying to Congress and declared that Trump had, in the words of the New York Times, “negotiated to build a tower in Moscow much later during the 2016 presidential election than previously acknowledged.”
Figures both inside and outside the White House made clear the connection between Trump’s trip and the latest stage in the…