HARI SREENIVASAN: Good evening and thanks for joining us.
Global security and trade dominated the two-day summit of leaders from 20 nations that concluded in Germany today.
The G-20 meeting in Hamburg drew large crowds of protesters, as these gatherings always do.
But that did not disrupt the business inside.
NewsHour Weekend special correspondent Ryan Chilcote is there with more.
RYAN CHILCOTE: Today, president trump met with key Asian allies to discuss the ongoing threat posed by North Korea and its long-range missile program.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the situation “increasingly severe.”
In a separate meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump said of North Korea’s continuing weapons tests: “Something has to be done about it.”
The leaders also discussed trade deals and the $30 billion-a-month U.S. trade deficit with China.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Many things have happened that have led to trade imbalances, and we’re going to turn that around. I know that with China, in particular, which is a great trading partner, we will be able to do something that will equitable and reciprocal.
RYAN CHILCOTE: Meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr. Trump said the U.S. and UK were also working also on what he called a “very powerful” trade deal as the UK plans its exit from the European Union.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Prime Minister May and I have developed a very special relationship, but I think trade will be a very big factor between our two countries, so I want to thank you very much.”
RYAN CHILCOTE: In the summit’s final communique, 19 of the 20 nations — all but the united states — vowed to implement quickly and without exceptions the Paris climate accord to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the U.S. position is “regrettable.”
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: Therefore there is the position of the United States on the one hand, but I am very happy that all other G20 heads of states and government have agreed that the Paris agreement is irreversible.”
RYAN CHILCOTE: Merkel played down the moment when first daughter Ivanka Trump sat in for the president during a meeting about migration and health in Africa.
The president said the U.S. would give $50 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Following yesterday’s marathon meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, today I asked Mr. Putin if he felt Mr. Trump had agreed with his face-to-face assertion that Russia had not intervened in the U.S. election last year.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: He was really interested in the details. I replied as detailed as I could. I think he was satisfied with my answers. Our position is known. There are no grounds for saying Russia interfered in the U.S. election.
HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Our special correspondent Ryan Chilcote joins me now from Hamburg, Germany.
Ryan, let’s start with that meeting between Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump. Who controlled the narrative afterwards on what exactly happened there?
RYAN CHILCOTE, PBS NEWSHOUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: What we can say is that at least from the Russian side, there was more of a narrative. If you think about it, almost immediately following President Trump and President Putin’s meeting, the Russian foreign minister gave a press conference that was broadcast live on Russian TV. On the U.S. side, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a while later addressed U.S. reporters but it was audio only.
And then if you think about today, President Putin gave a press conference after — as he was leaving. He answered a question from me. He too said that President Trump, by the way, it was his impression agreed that Russia hadn’t intervened in the election. While as the U.S. delegation, President Trump simply left. They didn’t have a press conference at all.
So, the Russians have certainly been talking about the meeting a lot more. And I think, you know, that’s given them an opportunity to shape how people characterize it.
SREENIVASAN: One of the story lines that we’ve also been seeing or images of the protests that have been happening in Hamburg, how significant have they been?
CHILCOTE: I think it’s fair to say that the protests here — and I’ve been to many, many, many G20s, G7s — have really engulfed this city. And it’s a big city, right? This is Germany’s second largest city. It’s really quite large and these protests were everywhere.
Everyone said before this summit began that it was a gamble on Angela Merkel, the German chancellor’s part to have this, to have the summit here in this city, as opposed as they often do, you know, on some remote island where it’s difficult for protesters to do it. But apparently, she wanted to send a message to President Erdogan and other leaders that Germany is a democratic country and this is going to go ahead, which is one of the reasons they didn’t crack down as much as they could on some of these protesters.
SREENIVASAN: Is there a way to judge the standing of the United States, given that this is now the president’s — one of his first major international forays?
CHILCOTE: Well, there’s a real qualitative difference between what we’ve seen at this summit when it comes to U.S. leadership and how everyone has sort of perceived and received the U.S. from the other summits I’ve been. This summit has been mostly about other G20 leaders trying to convince the Trump administration to find some, you know, middle ground with them on issues like trade and particularly on the issue of climate change. So, it’s a real stark change from what we’ve seen in the past.
SREENIVASAN: All right. Ryan Chilcote joining us tonight from Hamburg, Germany, thanks so much.
CHILCOTE: Thank you.