G-20 Summit: Trump appears to walk past Putin, Saudi prince

President Donald Trump arrives and joins other heads of state for a family photo at the G20 summit, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From left in the front row are Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazil President Michel Temer. From left on the top row are Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Saudi Arabia's crown Mohammed bin Salman. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump chatted with the leaders of Canada, Japan, and France during a group photo session at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

But he walked by — without appearing to acknowledge — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump canceled a formal sit-down with Putin at the summit over Moscow’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels.

Trump also is not meeting privately in Buenos Aires with the crown prince, who is trying to rebuild his image after the killing of Washington Post columnist and royal family critic inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.


1:10 p.m.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is insisting that President Donald Trump canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine and not the federal investigation into Russian interference in Trump’s election.

While Sanders says the inquiry has damaged U.S.-Russia relations, she reiterates that “the reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine.” She says hopefully the situation will be resolved “soon so that productive conversations can begin.”

Trump tweeted Thursday that he canceled the meeting over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors. He announced the cancellation shortly after his former lawyer pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the cancellation a missed opportunity, saying “love can’t be forced.”


10:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is praising Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose government has been a target of Trump’s ire over trade, migration and Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S. southern border.

Trump has railed about factory jobs lost to Mexico and the U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbor — two hot-button issues that vexed relations with Nieto.

But on Friday, Trump lauded Pena Nieto as a “special man.”

Trump congratulated Pena Nieto on ending his presidency by signing the new agreement governing trade relations among the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Trump said it’s “an incredible way to end a presidency. You don’t see that happen very often.”

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is to be sworn into office Saturday as Mexico’s president.


10:30 a.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on President Donald Trump to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Trudeau issued his plea as he joined Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

There was talk Trudeau would skip the signing over the tariffs. But he attended and used his remarks to declare the tariffs a major obstacle to their economies. He says the U.S. and Canada need to keep working toward lifting the levies.

Trump enraged Canada and other U.S. allies by declaring imported steel and aluminum a threat to America’s national security and therefore a legitimate target for U.S. tariffs.

Trudeau says the new trade deal is a major step for Canada’s economy.


9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump has joined the leaders of Mexico and Canada to sign a revised North American trade deal.

Trump gathered with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of Friday’s meeting of the Group of 20 nations in Buenos Aires.

The revamped deal, which Trump calls the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump has long raged against NAFTA. He says the new agreement “changes the trade landscape forever.”

Lawmakers in each country must now ratify the agreement.

That could prove to be a difficult task in the United States, especially now that Democrats will control the House of Representatives come January. Already Democrats and their allies in the labor movement are demanding changes.


9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a new trade pact being signed by the United States, Mexico, and Canada is a “model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever.”

Trump spent more than a year pushing the leaders of Canada and Mexico into agreeing to a rewrite of North American trade rules. Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto are signing the new pact Friday at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Trump now faces what could prove a more formidable foe: The U.S. Congress, which must ratify the agreement. He says the parties have “taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse” during the renegotiation.

He turned to Trudeau, saying “It’s been a battle,” but battles sometimes make “great friendships.”


9:10 a.m.

The Mexican government has presented President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner with the Order of the Aztec Eagle. It’s the highest honor America’s southern neighbor gives to foreigners.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department says Kushner earned the honor for his work on renegotiating a new trade agreement being signed Friday by Mexico, the United States and Canada on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

It replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.

Kushner, who has been working on U.S.-Mexico issues, says relations have improved because the countries decided not to work across the table, but on the same side to craft “win-win” solutions to migration, drug trafficking and abuse, and other issues plaguing relations.

Kushner says there’s a “strong level of trust” between the U.S. and Mexico, despite news reports citing clashes between the neighbors.


7:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting Argentine President Mauricio Macri as he kicks off two days of diplomacy at the G-20 meeting.

The leaders greeted each other warmly Friday as the annual meeting of leaders from rich and developing nations opened in Buenos Aires. Trump spoke about his longtime personal friendship with Macri and said they would discuss trade, military purchases and other issues.

Macri is hosting his counterparts as he struggles with a raft of domestic issues, including trying to halt economic turmoil that has caused the steep depreciation of the Argentine peso.

Trump and Macri enjoy a personal relationship dating back to their days as businessman.

Macri visited the White House soon after Trump took office in 2017.


7:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blasting the investigation in which his former lawyer pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal he pursued for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Cohen says he lied to be consistent with Trump’s “political messaging.” Trump says Cohen is lying now.

In a tweet Friday from Argentina, Trump recalled “happily living” his life as a developer before running for president after seeing the “Country going in the wrong direction.”

Trump says “Against all odds” he decided to run for president and continue to run his business, which he calls “very legal & very cool.” He says he “talked about it on the campaign trail.”

Trump tweets he “Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn’t do the project. Witch Hunt!”


3:25 a.m.

President Trump kicks off two days of diplomacy at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Friday after his abrupt decision to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin overshadowed the proceedings before they even started.

Trump barreled into the two-day meeting by announcing via Twitter that he was canceling on Putin over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels. His agenda Friday is expected to include meetings with world leaders, the signing of a revamped trade deal with Canada and Mexico, as well as a number of group activities for the gathering of rich and developing nations.

Coming into this G-20, Trump faces a series of diplomatic challenges — most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to ease trade tensions.

– Associated Press

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