During the G-7 Summit that took place last week in France, Donald Trump gave his fellow world leaders a serious case of whiplash when he decided to declare that not only did China seem willing to sit down to trade talks, but that leaders from Beijing had actually called the White House twice.
“Let’s get back to the table.’ So, we will be getting back to the table and I think they want to do something,” Trump bragged to reporters. “They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world. I think we are going to have a deal.”
China’s Foreign Ministry quickly responded stating that they had no idea what Trump was talking about. Leaders made it clear that no one had phoned the White House or Trump to talk trade. They implied that Trump had lied about the phone calls in an attempt to calm a panicked stock market.
On Thursday, CNN reported that Trump had indeed lied about the phone calls.
CNN reported that “Though Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted there had been communication, aides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen the way he said they did. Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.”
This news should come as a relief to Chinese officials, who were seriously confused by Trump’s statements.
“Regarding the phone call in the weekend, I am not aware of that,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters last week. “I can tell you clearly that I haven’t heard of such a thing.”
The new revelation also explains why Trump was so hesitant to offer any type of details.
“We have had calls at the highest level, but I don’t want to talk about that.”
CNN had its own thought about why Trump fabricated the phone calls writing, “Trump is increasingly aware that he’s done little to entice voters in 2020—and failed to follow through on many of his promises in 2016. For example, instead of beating China into submission through the art of the deal, he’s sparked an international trade war that is actively hurting consumers. Obamacare still exists. And he has yet to build a wall at the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. His response to the wall issue has reportedly been to assure aides he’ll pardon them should they break the law in the process of building the thing—something he’s urged them to do as quickly as possible. Who’s to say his solution to an ostensible stalemate with China wouldn’t involve a little fabrication? Just to grease the wheels.”