Russia was the big winner from Trump’s G7 performance – Business Insider
Trump’s defense of Putin was all the more noteworthy given that Russia isn’t even in the G7. It was booted from the group — known as the G8 at the time — in 2014 after it violated international law by annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
Since then, Russia has done little to make up for its actions; if anything, it’s stepped up its aggression. In addition to continuing to encroach on Ukraine, the Russian government interfered in the 2016 US election and was behind the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in the UK.
Russia is also a key ally for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as he slaughters his own people in a brutal civil war, and in recent months, it’s begun cozying up to other rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea. US officials also warn that as the 2020 election looms, the Russians are stepping up their cyber activities against the US and that they’ve repeatedly tried to attack US power grids.
So it stunned G7 members when Trump went to bat for Russia during the summit and aggressively lobbied for its readmittance.