Trump and world leaders attend G20 summit

By Angela Dewan, Brian Ries and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 5:22 a.m. ET, December 2, 2018
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8:26 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Trudeau adds dose of skepticism to new deal

From CNN's Rob Picheta

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cautiously welcomed the ceremonial signing.

"The new North American free trade agreement maintains stability for Canada’s entire economy, stability that’s essential for the millions of jobs and middle class families across the country that rely on strong, reliable trading relationships with our closest neighbors. That’s why I’m here today," he said.

But he cast doubt on Trump's unbridled optimism, pointing to recent plant closures by General Motors in North America as "a heavy blow" and taking the opportunity for a jibe at the US leader's protectionist policies.

And Donald, it’s all the more reason why we need to keep working to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum between our counties. "
8:17 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

What's next for the US-Canada-Mexico deal?

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

The ceremonial signing of the new USMCA trade deal does not mean it goes into effect. It still needs to win Congressional approval in Washington, where key members of both political parties have expressed significant concerns.

Trump said he expected the deal would win Congressional approval.

I don't expect to have much of a problem."

The signing ceremony in and of itself represented a political victory for Trump, who has been eager to mark the deal with a formal photo opportunity alongside Canada's Trudeau and Mexico's Peña Nieto. It was not clear until just a day earlier that the ceremony would go through amid ongoing Canadian protests over US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

7:59 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Trump touts US-Canada-Mexico trade deal as 'most significant and largest' in US history

From CNN's Angela Dewan

Trump, outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ceremonially signed a new trade deal to replace NAFTA, in an agreement that the US leader touted as a huge win for the US economy.

In remarks laden with superlatives, Trump presented the new deal, which he had promised since his election two years ago, calling it the "most significant and largest" in US history.

Standing between Peña Nieto and Trudeau at a press conference, he said:

We worked hard on this agreement, it's been long and hard. We've taken a lot of barbs and a little abuse, but we got there.”

He said the deal would give American farmers greater access to markets for their agricultural products, "something we’ve been wanting to to for many years.”

He also said the deal would transform the American auto industry, promoting fair competition and high wages.

7:11 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Anti-G20 protesters target Macri and Trump

From CNN's Angela Dewan

Protesters demonstrated against the G20 summit Friday in front of the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires. The crowd protested against the government's spending policies, as the country slips into a deep economic crisis and battles high inflation.

On Thursday, demonstrators flew a blimp of an angry baby Trump in a diaper wielding a smartphone over the Argentine Congress. The same blimp was flown over London in July when the US leader visited the British capital and has also been seen at protests in Florida near the President's Mar-a-Lago resort.

6:49 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Russia isn't buying Trump's reasons for canceling Putin meeting

From CNN’s Nathan Hodge in Moscow

Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled his meeting with Putin, blaming Russia's refusal to release Ukrainian navy ships and sailors seized during a maritime clash on Sunday.

But on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested the “US domestic political situation” was the real reason the meeting was spiked, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Michael Cohen walking out of federal court on Thursday in New York. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia.
Michael Cohen walking out of federal court on Thursday in New York. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia.

“Was the provocation organized by Kiev in this region the real reason for cancellation?” Zakharova said in a press conference. “Publicly, we heard just such an explanation, we took note of it. Is this a reality?

I think that you still need to look for answers in the US domestic political situation."

Trump canceled the meeting as his former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. Cohen said Thursday that the US President had spoken more extensively during the election with him about the project than he had initially admitted in Congress.

The charge against Cohen was brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing links between Russia and Trump's campaign team.

6:10 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Trump meets G20 host Macri to talk trade

From CNN's Angela Dewan

Argentine President Mauricio Macri greeted Trump in Buenos Aires before the two leaders sat down for talks, the first bilateral meeting on the US President's agenda.

Trump made flattering comments about his host, saying he had known him for many years. "People wouldn't know that he was a young man, a handsome man," he said.

Trump recollected a deal with Macri's family to develop the West Side railroad yards, one of the "largest jobs in Manhattan," he claimed.

"That was in my civilian days," Trump said. "Little did you realize I would become president."

He added: "We’re going to be talking about lots of good things for Argentina and for the United States, including trade, including military purchases and other things."

6:11 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Trump defends himself against Cohen claims: What I did was "very legal & very cool"

The US leader was supposed to be meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Buenos Aires, but he scrapped the bilateral as his Russia woes grow at home.

Eight minutes before he was set to meet with the summit's host on Friday morning, Trump began tweeting about new allegations by the President's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen about a proposed Moscow property deal when Trump was a candidate.

5:22 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

Heightened security in Argentina as the G20 summit kicks off

From CNN’s Natalie Gallón and Claudia Dominguez


As the G20 summit kicks off, Buenos Aires is seeing heightened security and a heavy police presence. According to Argentina’s Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, Buenos Aires is at its highest security level with at least 22,700 security agents across the city. 

Argentina spent around $43 million dollars on security for the G20.

Authorities are restricting travel in certain zones of the city. There are road closures, and zones only open to people with G20 accreditation. Transportation and public services, including aerial and trains will be limited or altered in certain areas during the summit.

Public transport and businesses will be closed entirely on Friday, the first day of the summit, which has been declared a national holiday in Argentina.

5:04 a.m. ET, November 30, 2018

What to watch at the G20: the Khashoggi murder, China trade war and clashes at sea

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump is in Buenos Aires for his second G20 summit, where he faces a high-stakes meeting China's mercurial president, Xi Jinping. Trump hopes to lay the groundwork for a trade agreement with China — or else move forward with punishing new tariffs in the trade war.

Trump had also planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but abruptly cancelled the meeting on Thursday amid the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is expected to be discussed among the G20 leaders.

Also hanging over the trip: the expected presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who Trump has largely exonerated from culpability in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Trump is not expected to meet formally with MBS, but it's possible they interact.

With those dynamics at play, the other world leaders attending the G20 will remain mostly out of Trump’s sights — perhaps not an unwelcome proposition, given his truculent behavior at past summits.

First lady Melania Trump will join the President in Argentina. They will spend two nights in the Argentine capital before returning to Washington.