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News Analysis: Trump Invitation to Russia Deepens Rift With America’s Allies

“There are disagreements,” conceded Larry Kudlow, the director of Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council. “My view? We can get through this.”

That may be true in the long run. But for now, Mr. Trump’s actions have helped strengthen the bonds between the other allies, especially in Europe, where political and demographic forces — including populist movements and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union — had begun undermining their common purpose. Now, that common purpose is increasingly aimed at countering the United States instead.

Disagreements over policy are not the only thing driving the United States away from its traditional allies. Mr. Trump’s personal style has also confounded and sometimes infuriated his counterparts, who never know quite what to expect.

“On a Monday, you could be his best friend, on Tuesday his worst enemy, and by Friday, you’re golf buddies again,” said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive officer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Group of 7 nations struggled to reach any kind of consensus for a joint statement that Mr. Trump could sign. During meetings on Friday, Mr. Trump said he thought it was possible. But a senior Canadian official, speaking to reporters on background, said the United States has been noncommittal about putting its signature on a final communiqué.

“The G-7 should be our preferred venue to unify the free world to compete with and counter authoritarian kleptocracies,” said Damon Wilson, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush and now vice president of the Atlantic Council, which advocates trans-Atlantic cooperation. “Rather than prepare for that real battle, we’re distracted in a family dispute.”

Source: NYT > World

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