"They should let Russia back in.”

​President Donald Trump said Friday that he believes Russia should be reinstated into the Group of Seven of world leading economies, despite the president's own intentions to cut short his attendance at the group's upcoming summit in Quebec. 

“Now, I love our country," Trump assured the press on Friday as he departed from the White House. "I have been Russia’s worst nightmare." 

But... "With that being said," Russia's Worst Nightmare continued. "Russia should be in this meeting. It may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. (…) They should let Russia back in.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin was ​ostracized from the G7 after unilaterally annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, which drove the US and its closest allies to impose sanctions on Russia as a punishment that still remains in effect.

The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Cutting the trip short: Trump's announcement Friday, which came right before leaving for the ​summit that will take place on Friday and Saturday in the Canadian town of La Malbaie, follows the president's recent announcement that he would leave the summit early Saturday and ​not attend scheduled meetings on climate change and the environment. 

The upcoming summit has recently attracted heavy global attention as a result of Trump's recent decision to ​slap tariffs on some of the US's closest allies. 

With a trade war looming and straining relations between the US and ally Western democracies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ​said Thursday that she expects the summit to be "contentious." 

Other G7 members have not been shy to condemn Trump. On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a ​testy phone call with President Trump in which Trump incorrectly told Trudeau that Canada burned down the White House during the War of 1812.

Tensions only escalated further on Thursday when French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a brief Twitter showdown with Trump. 

Trump stood his own (Twitter is his stage, after all), and blamed the EU for its history of trade imbalance with the US.


Jon Wolfsthal, director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and Former Special Assistant to Barack Obama, tweeted Friday morning that Trump's isolationist approach was "weakening America" and even putting the country at risk.

Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the "Democratic Coalition" organization and frequent MSNBC contributor, also scolded the president, accusing him of treason and of "kissing Putin's ass." 

Dr. Gina Gentry Loudon, a frequent Fox News guest and who currently serves on the Donald J. Trump for for President Media Advisory Board, instead hailed Trump's conviction and leadership qualities while dealing with backlash from allies.

Steve Hilton, the former director of strategy for former United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, took aim at Trump's critics for condemning the president's "unprecedented" approach.