Yet another layer of detail has been added to the story behind a viral photo of President Donald Trump at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada. The image instantly became the subject of headlines earlier in June, as it meshed well with the perception of a strained relationship between the president and American allies. Now, weeks later, another wrinkle to that relationship has been added: During the meeting the photo depicts, Trump reportedly tossed Starbursts at Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.
The moment was described by Iam Bremmer, a foreign policy expert and president of the Eurasia Group, a political consulting firm. On Thursday, June 21, Bremmer was a guest on CBS This Morning. When asked whether he had information about the story behind the viral G7 photo, Bremmer said that Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been imploring Trump to sign a joint statement made on behalf of all seven nations represented at the summit.
That's where the mention of Starbursts came in.
"Trump was sitting there with his arms crossed, clearly not liking the fact that he felt like they were ganging up on him. He eventually agreed. He said 'ok' he'll sign it. At that point he stood up. He put his hand in his pocket, his suit jacket pocket, and he took two Starburst candies out, threw them on the table, and said to Merkel, "here Angela, don't say I never give you anything."
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for its view on Bremmer's version of events, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
A video of Bremmer's CBS This Morning appearance can be seen below.
While the story of Trump throwing Starbursts did animate Bremmer's commentary, what seems most significant is what it reveals about Trump's relationship with close allies.
An overwhelming amount of evidence, from Trump's own actions to others' reporting about the president's interactions with other leaders, point to that relationship being as strained as perceived.
I would say that really showed — if you want to look into what was behind both the body language there, and also why it was that after the meeting Trump was so agitated and decided to tweet off against the Canadian prime minister, and decided to pull his name out of the communique, completely unknown to [economic adviser Larry] Kudlow and other that had been advising him, I think that's really the reason. That's his emotional state at that point.
As Bremmer mentioned, Trump did indeed tweet about Trudeau after the summit, calling him "dishonest and weak." The president also tweeted that he'd told advisers to not sign the joint statement between G7 allies.
Days after the summit, however, the president gave his side of the story behind the viral G7 photo, telling ABC News that the moment was innocent.
"I just do want to say, though, that picture was supposed to be a friendly picture," Trump told George Stephanopoulos. "That was put out by us. And we were waiting for the document to come back so we could read it. I left, everybody was happy, everybody shook. You should ask Prime Minister Abe. Everybody was happy."
During the same interview, Trump also insisted that he has a great relationship with the G7.
"I have a very good relationship with [Japan] Prime Minister Abe," Trump said. "I have great relationship with the new man who I like a lot as you know from Italy [Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte] ... And frankly really good with Merkel. Really good pretty much with all of them. I was very surprised because we actually were getting ready to sign a document, I made them make various changes."
Despite wha the president says about his relationships, though, stories like Bremmer's make Trump's view harder to believe.