Trump vs the World: G-20 Summit Stumbles on Trade, Climate - NBC Southern California
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump vs the World: G-20 Summit Stumbles on Trade, Climate

President Donald Trump sought to use the summit to make his own trade deals

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump: Trade, Military Deals in Argentina Talks

    President Donald Trump said trade and military purchases would be on the table when he met with Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires on Friday. (Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2018)

    Divisions among the world leading economies emerged from the moment their leaders gathered Friday in Argentina: Donald Trump struck his own deals and angered allies, and the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia bonded amid criticism from European powers.

    U.S. negotiators blocked progress at the Group of 20 summit on managing migration, slowing climate change, and streamlining how world trade is governed, according to European officials involved in the discussions.

    Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires. Argentina's security minister said eight gasoline bombs were discovered in an area of the capital several miles from the summit venue where a protest in the afternoon drew thousands of demonstrators who held up banners with slogans like "Go away G-20" and "Go away Trump."

    The whole point of the G-20 — formed in the wake of the global financial crisis a decade ago — is finding ways to solve global problems together, but diplomats in Buenos Aires struggled to find enough things all the leaders agree on.

    Trump Staffers Brace for Mueller Report

    [NATL] Trump Staffers Brace for Mueller Report

    Some former and current White House staffers who cooperated with Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and President Donald Trump are worried that they may be exposed in his report that's set to be released Thursday. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019)

    Trump sought to use the summit to make his own trade deals, and angered the Argentine hosts by misconstruing their position on China's trade practices.

    Meanwhile, two men under heavy criticism from the West lately — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — appeared to seek refuge in each other, bonding with a tough-guy hand grab as the leaders sat down around a huge round table for talks.

    After Saudi media reported that Mohammed and Trump had a "friendly meeting," the White House insisted that the two leaders simply "exchanged pleasantries at the leaders session as he did with nearly every leader in attendance."

    When asked what he discussed with the crown prince, Trump told reporters, "We had no discussion. ... We might. But we had none."

    Argentine President Mauricio Macri kicked off the summit by acknowledging divisions within the G-20 while urging world leaders to have a "sense of urgency" and take actions "based on shared interests."

    Diplomats from the Group of 20 countries were haggling hard over a final summit statement, with deep divisions over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization.

    AG Barr: ‘I Think Spying Did Occur’ on 2016 Trump Campaign

    [NATL] AG Barr: ‘I Think Spying Did Occur’ on 2016 Trump Campaign

    Attorney General William Barr was asked why he has a team looking into why the FBI opened an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He said he thought that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign. “The question was whether it was adequately predicated,” he said.

    (Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019)

    Two European officials involved in the discussions said the U.S. was stymieing progress on both.

    So an unorthodox solution emerged: An official in the French president's office said the statement may have language that sets the U.S. apart. For example, a draft says 19 of the participants agree on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the U.S. doesn't.

    Asked about the European concerns, a U.S. official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.

    Later the Argentine official shepherding the G-20 finance talks, treasury official Laura Jaitman, said Trump was "very active and committed" in the dialogue and said progress was made in Friday's talks on finance and trade.

    "There's a very positive message of how trade has been an engine of growth for the next decades and how it will continue in the future providing benefits for all citizens," Jaitman said.

    Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said trade talks were moving forward and nations were continuing to work on climate change wording.

    White Nationalism, Fueled by Social Media, on Global Rise

    [NATL] White Nationalism, Fueled by Social Media, Rising on Global Scale

    Hate speech and vitriol were under the microscope on Capitol Hill Tuesday, at the center of a House Judiciary hearing on white nationalism and the internet. Analysts say white nationalism is on the rise across the country and around the world.

    (Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019)

    Despite Trump's dismissal of concerns about global warming, China, France and the United Nations came together Friday to pledge their support for the Paris climate accord. Their declaration was meant to encourage other G-20 members to do the same, and to provide a boost for an upcoming U.N. climate summit.

    Overall the G-20 summit is meant to focus on issues such as labor, infrastructure, development, financial stability, climate sustainability and international commerce.

    But as the gathering got underway, those themes seemed like afterthoughts, overshadowed by contentious matters from the U.S.-China trade dispute to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

    Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over the weekend seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crew — which Trump cited in canceling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G-20. Russia's foreign minister regretted the cancellation, but said, "love can't be forced."

    Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires: The gruesome slaying of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul Consulate and how the Saudi crown prince, who is alleged to have ordered the killing, is received by world leaders.

    As soon as he arrived, the crown prince was confronted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who pressed him on the Khashoggi investigation and the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

    Attorney General Says Mueller Report Ready for Release ‘Within a Week’

    [NATL] Attorney General Says Mueller Report Ready for Release ‘Within a Week’

    Attorney General William Barr took questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report during his appearance in front of the House appropriations subcommittee. Barr would not answer whether the White House had seen or been briefed on the Mueller report.

    (Published Tuesday, April 9, 2019)

    Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron countered, "I am worried."

    Saudi Arabia has denied that bin Salman played a role, but some leaders were concerned about seeming to legitimize a man who U.S. intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing. Trump's administration, however, has made clear it does not want to torpedo the longstanding U.S. relationship with Riyadh.

    It is the prince's first significant appearance overseas since the killing. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident, is also in attendance.

    Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico, meanwhile, met in the morning to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners.

    It must still be ratified by lawmakers in all three countries, and passage in the U.S. could face a tough road in the House of Representatives after Democrats won a majority in November midterm elections.

    While Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, the U.S. president was still scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on the two countries' trade disputes a month before U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.

    Trump Purges Homeland Security Dept. After Nielsen Ouster

    [NATL] Trump Purges Homeland Security Leadership Following Nielsen Ouster

    Frustrated by the situation at the southern border, President Trump is purging leadership at the Department of Homeland Security to make his immigration agenda easier to enact, while the leadership void in his administration continues to grow. 

    (Published Tuesday, April 9, 2019)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late after her plane suffered a technical problem.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May's attendance at the summit marked the first time a U.K. prime minister has visited Argentina's capital. The only other prime minister to visit the country was Tony Blair, who went to Puerto Iguazu in 2001. The two countries have long been at odds over the South Atlantic islands known as the Falklands in Britain and the Malvinas in Argentina.

    Faurie, the Argentine foreign minister, said the recent establishment of more flights to the disputed islands was a positive development.

    "We are not withdrawing our historic claim," he added. "The focus of this opportunity is in the reestablishment of trust."

    In downtown Buenos Aires, meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators flooded the 9 de Julio Avenue waving flags and holding up banners. Several marched topless with colorful national flags of summit countries painted on their chests."

    About 22,000 police officers and other security forces are guarding the leaders during the summit.

    Kirstjen Nielsen Out as Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary

    [NATL] Kirstjen Nielsen Out as Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary

    Kirstjin Nielsen resigned as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday, marking an end to her controversial era at the helm of a department that oversaw migrant families separated at the border and a rising number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Nielsen has held the post since December 2017.

     

    (Published Monday, April 8, 2019)

    Argentina is the first South American country to host the G-20, and officials have the added challenge of ensuring that chaos is better contained than it was at last year's meeting in Hamburg, Germany, where clashes broke out between police and protesters.

    Argentine authorities have said they will not tolerate violence or allow the gathering to be disrupted.

    Associated Press writers Almudena Calatrava, Debora Rey and Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this report.