Trump likely to decide in coming days whether to host G7 in person

“Now that our Country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness’, I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David. The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Trump is serious about the proposal and has been considering it for a few days, the official said. He sought input from last year’s G7 president, French leader Emmanuel Macron, during a morning telephone call on Wednesday.

Another member of the group, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said after Trump’s tweet that he would need to see what measures the US proposed to keep people safe before committing to an in-person summit.

It also remains to be seen whether leaders would require special dispensation to come to the United States, which has enacted restrictions on travel from Europe and the United Kingdom and required a mandatory quarantine for those who enter. The border between the US and Canada also remains closed to nonessential travel until June 21.

The G7 is comprised of the US, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Japan. Trump has mused about allowing Russia to rejoin the group but met fierce resistance from fellow leaders.

When Trump announced in March the summit would be held virtually, planning for the in-person event was halted. Organizing such a gathering typically takes a host country several months, so officials said on Wednesday the President would need to decide within a week whether to press forward with the event.

If he does, it would likely occur at the end of June to allow for a few additional weeks of planning. Originally, the summit had been scheduled for June 10-12.

The summit would also likely require modifications such as limiting the size of foreign leaders’ delegations and cutting down on the number of activities, officials said.

Trump has spent several weekends at Camp David recently and is expected to continue in the coming weeks. It’s allowed him to envision the summit taking place there even after he decided to cancel it earlier this year, one official said.

Trump originally wanted to host the event at his Doral golf club outside Miami but decided against it when ethics concerns were raised.

His chief of staff at the time, Mick Mulvaney, disparaged Camp David as a venue in part because it was too remote. President Barack Obama held the 2012 meeting of what was then the G8 at the mountainside resort.

“I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7,” Mulvaney said. “It was way too small. It was way too remote.”

But officials said those shortcomings would seem to recommend the venue amid a global pandemic, where the size of delegations is limited by available space and leaders would not necessarily need to venture into a densely packed city.