The White House said Trump would depart mid-morning on Saturday, skipping sessions on climate change and the environment. An aide will take his place, the White House said.
The announcement came as Trump engaged in a bitter back-and-forth with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over Twitter, both of whom he’ll meet face-to-face on Friday.
Trump is expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight with top US allies over trade during his time at the conference, held in remote Quebec.
It’s a battle he believes he can win, but which he’s unenthusiastic about waging in person, people familiar with his thinking say.
Even as late as Thursday afternoon, Trump was questioning why he would attend a G7 meeting where he’s outnumbered on key issues like trade and climate change. As a series of combative tweets from Macron began emerging late in the day, Trump again raised the prospect of scrubbing all or part of his visit to Canada, asking advisers what the point of attending the summit would be, according to a person familiar with the conversations.