The Atlantic

Trump Goes to War Against the Democracies

Through the G7 summit, the brittle pretense of unity held together. Then came the tweets.
Source: Kyodo News / Getty

“He’s like Heath Ledger’s Joker—but without the operational excellence.” That was the grim after-action assessment of one senior G7 official with whom I spoke in the shocked aftermath of President Donald Trump’s savage post-summit tweets.

To the very last minute, the Charlevoix summit seemed business-no-worse-than-usual. Trump had arrived at the summit in a credible semblance of a jolly mood. He joked about where he would site the condos if he redeveloped the hosting hotel. He assured the other heads of governments not to mind the false reports in the media. We’re all still friends, he said. We’re going.

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