Trump misses climate meeting and says he’ll invite Putin to next G7 amid erratic behaviour at summit

Adam Forrest, Clark Mindock

Donald Trump has skipped a meeting about climate change and biodiversity attended by other world leaders at the G7 on Monday, in the latest sign that the American government does not view the global threat as a priority.

Separately, meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel, the US president claimed there was “great unity” on how to deal with the Iran crisis. Ms Merkel, however, said there was a long way to go on the issue, which has created considerable headache as tensions have flared between Tehran and Washington.

The snubs came just before Mr Trump attended a joint press conference with French president Emmanuel Macron, where the two leaders claimed to have found unity on many issues — from Iranian nuclear enrichment, to trade.

Later, after Mr Macron left the stage, the American president stuck around for a few questions, where he lavished praise on Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and at one point called himself an "environmentalist".

Mr Trump has also denied at the summit in France that he had suggested firing nuclear weapons at hurricanes — as was reported by Axios — and suggested his own Miami golf club for next year’s G7. He also claimed China had “called” to ask for trade talks – before a top Chinese official said he was unaware of any call.

Elsewhere, the 2020 Democratic primary field saw some heat, with a new poll showing Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden all in a statistical dead heat among national voters.

The poll marked a potentially dramatic fall for Mr Biden from the top of the race, and came after Ms Warren attracted a massive crowd in Seattle — one that has received plenty of media attention for its striking visuals.

Also, Mr Trump's own party's primary field has gotten a bit tighter, with the long-shot entry of former congressman Joe Walsh, a one-time Trump supporter who claims the president has simply gotten too cozy with Russia.