Over the weekend and on Monday, President Donald Trump was in France for the G-7 summit, at which he was supposed to be doing things such as keeping the world economy from crashing and going to meetings about subjects like climate change.
Mostly, though, the president appeared to be self-soothing online. In one four-hour stretch on Sunday, Trump did nine consecutive reposts of tweets from the right-wing group Judicial Watch, in reverse chronological order, as if he were working his way through the feed to make himself feel better. The topics he shared included a conspiracy theory about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s personal life and various paranoid claims about the deep state, one of which featured a video involving, yes, Hillary Clinton’s emails.
What about summit business? On the economic front, Trump told reporters that his aides had been in touch with representatives of the Chinese government about working out a trade deal after the market-assaulting Friday tweet meltdown in which he’d spontaneously announced new tariffs and demanded that U.S. companies stop doing business in the country. According to the Associated Press, the president specifically said that his trade negotiation team had conducted two “very good calls” with the Chinese on Sunday. China, however, had a different take:
So that’s going well. As for climate change, Trump not only missed the meeting but didn’t even know he had missed it. The Guardian:
Trump was later asked by reporters covering a meeting with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, whether he had attended the climate session. He replied: “We’re having it in a little while.” He did not appear to hear when a reporter told him it had just taken place.
On the ball. Good.
Meanwhile, his Twitter feed testifies to what the president has been paying attention to in France. The Judicial Watch fixation was part of a Sunday/Monday spree—again, while he was supposed to be at a series of huge meetings—during which he posted or retweeted others’ posts 46 times. Some of these were pro forma PR messages that were probably put up by his staff, but others were vintage The President Is Mad at the Television material, like this zombie complaint about how well the press treated Clinton in 2016, this denial of the very plausible Axios report that he wants to drop a nuclear bomb on a hurricane, and this Obviously Fabricated Anecdote:
Yeah, that sounds like something Shinzo Abe would say.