If you thought Donald Trump had a busy June — meeting with Kim Jong Un, insulting all his allies, detaining immigrant children, etc. — you’re going to want to prepare yourself to watch the whirlwind he has planned for July. Not only is it his country’s birthday, he’s meeting with a strange array of international leaders all within the first two weeks. In the past day, we’ve learned that POTUS has scheduled a super secret meeting with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an appearance with Queen Elizabeth and a one-on-one sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. You couldn’t put together a more random group of leaders if you tried.
Stephen Harper – July 2
Looks like Harper is going to be cutting his Canada Day festivities short for a surprise trip to Washington. The former-PM has been edging himself back into the political spotlight as of late and seems to be stepping on the current government’s toes in the process. CTV News learned of the trip through obtained emails and reports that Harper hasn’t contacted the Trudeau government or Canadian Embassy in D.C. about it — an unconventional move.
The purpose of Harper’s White House meeting is currently unknown but he’s recently made some moderately-supportive public comments about the current U.S. administration’s economic policies. The timing of the meeting — one day after Trudeau’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods are set to take effect — suggests it could potentially be trade-related.
Queen Elizabeth – July 13
Thursday morning, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. confirmed that President Donald Trump would be visiting the country next month for the first time since his election. The event will be a 24-hour “working trip,” but the Ambassador shared that part of it will include a meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
This meeting won’t be marked with celebration and pageantry like a conventional state state visit, however. The focus seems to be on keeping the affair as small, quick and private as possible. Donald Trump was scheduled to visit the U.K. last year, but was met with so much protest that he canceled his trip. This time, it looks like everyone is keen on keeping the whole affair on the DL, which is probably for the best.
Vladimir Putin – July 16
Ah, the meeting we’ve all been waiting for — Donald Trump and the man behind his presidency. This meeting is easily the most controversial of all since U.S. intelligence agencies have proven that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and that Putin was most likely behind it. If that wasn’t enough, Donald Trump is known for being chummy with Putin, praising him, advocating for him and defending him against critics. That’s not the the most conventional treatment for someone who causes a legitimate security threat to your entire nation and the foundation of your democracy. He also refuses to publicly condemn Russia’s involvement in the election (although he claims he raised the issue with Putin briefly in a 2017 meeting).
Bonus: NATO Summit
July 11 and 12 mark the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, which Trump will be attending along with the other leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Like the recent G7, it’s likely this summit will have its fair share of tensions. The gathering will include the very same leaders Trump managed to simultaneously snub and blast back in June — Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May and Angela Merkel. If that isn’t enough to derail what is supposed to be a positive and productive meeting, Trump has also bashed NATO in the past, suggesting that it is yet another agreement he would pull the U.S. out of if the other members continue to treat his country unfairly.
Fasten your seat belts, folks, international diplomacy is in for a bumpy ride.