After White House officials accused world leaders of attempting to embarrass U.S. President Donald Trump by focusing on the climate crisis at the G7 summit in France, Trump on Monday skipped a session on climate, oceans, and biodiversity during which representatives agreed to a $20 million package to help fight fires that have been ravaging the Amazon rainforest for weeks.
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that Trump did not show up to the session. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said a senior Trump administration official attended the meeting in the president's place.
After the climate session concluded, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he made it to the meeting.
"I'm going to. In fact, it's going to be in a little while," said the U.S. president, seemingly unaware the session had already taken place.
As The Hill reported, "It was unclear if he heard a reporter who noted the session had just happened."
Q: “Mr. President were you able to attend the working session on climate and oceans earlier?” Trump: “Were having it in a little while. Q: “no, it just happened.”
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 26, 2019
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Trump went on to falsely claim the U.S. is "right now having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet."
Asked what his climate message is at the G7, Trump falsely claims "we are right now having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet." Neither claim is true. https://t.co/ZnRv3LXwOw pic.twitter.com/MgtijAwZDk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 26, 2019
As The Guardian reported Saturday, Trump aides accused Macron attempting to "embarrass his U.S. counterpart by making the summit focus on 'niche issues' such as climate change," which the U.S. president has described as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
Trump officials, according to The Guardian, complained "the summit had moved from core issues such as global economics and trade to 'niche issues' such as climate change, gender equality, and development in Africa."