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The Latest: Trump dining with G-7 leaders in France

Posted on Saturday, August 24th, 2019 By The Associated Press


French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte welcome President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Biarritz lighthouse, southwestern France, ahead of a working dinner Saturday, Aug.24, 2019. Shadowed by the threat of global recession, a U.S. trade war with China and the possibility of one against Europe, the posturing by leaders of the G-7 rich democracies began well before they stood together for a summit photo. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BIARRITZ, France (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is dining with world leaders attending the annual Group of Seven summit in France.

The opening event of the meeting of the world's richest democracies is being held at the Biarritz lighthouse with its commanding views of the Bay of Biscay.

Foreign policy and security issues are set to be on the agenda for what is being billed as an informal dinner.

The French presidency has chosen five local chefs, all with Michelin stars, to prepare meals featuring local Basque cuisine for the summit.

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7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump French and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed economic and trade issues, as well as security challenges, during their private lunch ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz.

The White House says they "discussed the importance of promoting free and fair trade, reducing trade barriers, taxation, and regulation, and ensuring freedom of navigation and commerce as pillars of global economic growth."

Earlier Macron's office said he raised a proposal with Trump to bring the U.S. and Iran back to the negotiating table over the latter's nuclear program — a notion that only garnered passing mention by the White House.

The U.S. readout of Saturday's meeting says only that they "also addressed security challenges of mutual concern, particularly the ongoing crisis in Libya, growing instability in the Sahel region, and tensions in the Persian Gulf."

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5:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump may be in France for an international summit, but his mind is on news coverage at home after he referred to himself as "the chosen one" and pointed to the sky when discussing a spiraling trade war with China.

Trump is tweeting that he was "being sarcastic, and just having fun." His comments before boarding Marine One this past week were met by laughs from some of the assembled press members.

Trump is attacking news outlets "who covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah." He adds: "No more trust!"

Trump is in Biarritz, France, for the Group of Seven summit.

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2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') held a private lunch before the start of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz.

Macron, who's hosting the summit, said the leaders are discussing "a lot of crisis" around the world, including Libya, Iran and Russia, as well as trade policy and climate change.

Trump said the two leaders "actually have a lot in common" and a "special relationship." He adds, "We'll accomplish a lot this weekend and I look forward to it."

Asked if he would follow through on his threat to place tariffs on French wines in retaliation for France's digital services tax, Trump was noncommittal, saying only that "I love French wine."

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1:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in France for a summit with world leaders. The Group of Seven meeting in Biarritz comes amid anxieties over a global economic slowdown and the president's escalating trade war with China.

Air Force One arrived in the seaside resort town on Saturday afternoon.

The two-day summit is taking place at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump's tenure, with his public comments and decision-making increasingly erratic and acerbic of late.

Trump faces a wary reception from fellow world leaders. He's opened new points of tension with allies on trade, Iran and Russia.

The summit is scheduled to kick off with a dinner Saturday night. The summit is expected to focus on economic issues and climate change, among other topics.

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7:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump heads into a summit with global economic powers confronting the consequences of his preference for going it alone in a polarized nation and an interconnected world.

The Group of Seven nations are gathering in a French beach resort town at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump's tenure, with his public comments and decision-making increasingly erratic and acerbic of late.

Trump faces an icy reception on the world stage, where many challenges await.

With fears of a financial downturn spreading, Trump has ridiculed Germany for its economic travails. But he may well need German leader Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) and others to help blunt the force of China's newly aggressive tariffs on U.S. goods.

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