Hours after leaving the G7 summit on Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to assault the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "false statements" and instructed United States representatives to renege on the US' endorsement of the joint communique.
Anticipating a tense two days in Quebec, Trump has complained about having to attend the summit, particularly since it comes just before his high-stakes meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said two people with knowledge of his thinking.
Trump announced in March that he was imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but he temporarily granted a waiver to U.S allies like Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and also to China, as his administration said trade talks were continuing.
Trump also complained about German tariffs on USA automobiles and the ease with which German carmakers can sell into the American market. "They should let Russian Federation come back in because we should have Russian Federation at the negotiating table", the USA leader said before boarding the presidential jet. Trump and Macron were scheduled to hold talks Friday morning but Macron's office says they are now expected to meet at 5:40 p.m.
Trump described Trudeau as "indignant" for bringing up the relationship between the US and Canada without mentioning Canadian tariffs on USA dairy products.
While Italy's new premier Giuseppe Conte, the head of a populist coalition, sided with Trump, many other European leaders were horrified and warned against the idea.
And at the same time as western nations are at loggerheads, the United States president seems more at home with autocrats than with Washington's traditional allies.
There were also no more references to Trump's off-the-cuff remark about the need to bring Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the fold of the worldwide community.
Merkel's comment was one of two nods to Trump during her hourlong ARD interview after her return from the G-7.
And he promised a "frank and direct discussion" with Trump in Canada. The consensus documents typically outline a shared vision of global affairs, where the seven countries also undertake commitments on everything from currencies, development aid and worldwide security.
Although Trump said the tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry and workers, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal and are preparing retaliation, raising the prospect of a tit-for-tit escalation.
"We will have to work all together on a broader agreement with Iran and [other] countries in the region, our allies", he said, apparently referring to the Gulf monarchies.
Yet, even before the ink on the announcement by the two ministers was dry, a spokesman of an organization which named itself the "Manbij Military Council" (whose Twitter account looks like the one of PKK terrorists, adorned with a photo of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan) said, "The U.S. gave guarantees to protect Manbij after the Turkey deal".
A German official said that if Trump declines to sign a communique, it won't be the end of the G-7, but it would be a worrisome signal.