President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington, Friday, June 8, 2018, to attend the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Latest: Trump says Russia should be allowed in G-7

June 08, 2018 - 9:14 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the annual Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations (all times local):

9: 10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is digging in on his threat to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can't make a better deal with America's neighbors.

Trump tells reporters that, "If we're unable to make a deal, we'll terminate NAFTA, we'll have a better deal." He spoke as he left the White House en route to what is sure to be a tense summit in Canada with leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations.

He also says he'll make a deal "very easily" nonetheless.

Trump is also continuing to rail against Canada, Mexico and the European Union, saying their trade practices treat the U.S. unfairly.

Trump's protectionist tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are expected to be a major subject of discussion at the meeting.

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8:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for Russia to be reinstated to the leading group of industrialized nations, now known as the Group of Seven.

Trump tells reporters: "Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it."

Russia was ousted from the elite group in 2014 as punishment for President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. The suspension was supported by the other members of the group, including the U.S., Canada, Japan and four European nations.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump associates colluded with Russia in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor.

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7:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he won't be talking about the Russia probe for a while because he'll be focused on trade talks at the annual Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations.

Trump notes on Twitter that he's heading for Canada, where the nations' leaders are gathering at a Quebec resort. Several are expected to challenge Trump's new trade policies, which include tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump tweets that the talks "will mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States." After that, he'll head to Singapore for a summit with North Korea.

He adds: "Won't be talking about the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax for a while!"

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6:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he is looking forward to "straightening out unfair Trade Deals" at the annual Group of Seven meeting.

The group of industrialized nations is gathering at a Quebec resort for discussions that are expected to be tense. The leaders from France and Canada say they will push back against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump showed no signs of budging on his trade policies Friday, tweeting: "Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn't happen, we come out even better!

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1:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is set to descend on the annual Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations, expecting tough trade talks as his go-it-alone policies leave him increasingly isolated.

On the eve of Friday's gathering at a Quebec resort, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previewed what will likely be a tense two days. They stressed the need for respectful dialogue but say they will push back against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as they have on other issues.

Trump is showing no signs of backing away from what he sees as key campaign promises. He tweeted Thursday: "Getting ready to go to the G-7 in Canada to fight for our country on Trade (we have the worst trade deals ever made)."

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