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Trump may have made up ‘high-level’ Chinese phone calls at G7



President Donald Trump may have made up high-level phone calls on trade negotiations between the American and Chinese governments at the G7 summit last weekend to boost confidence in the market after he escalated the trade war.

CNN reported that two administration officials said Trump had conflated comments from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and cited them as phone conversations in a bid to calm jolted markets. A day before the summit started, Liu had restated the Chinese government’s longstanding position to resolve the trade dispute through “calm” negotiations.

The White House declined to comment on the matter.

At the G7 summit, Trump said the Chinese government had reached out and expressed a willingness to restart high-level trade talks, which have stalled.

Read more: Russia came out the winner of this year’s G7 summit despite being kicked out, and Trump looked like ‘Putin’s puppet’

“We were called and we’re going to start very shortly to negotiate,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll see what happens, but I think we’re going to make a deal.”

Trump called them “high-level calls” and added that the Chinese were eager to negotiate: “This is the first time I’ve seen them where they really want to make a deal.”

But China said the calls never happened.

The administration is increasingly worried that a recession could tank Trump’s reelection chances in 2020, as the protracted trade war it’s waging against China is sending shudders through the global economy.

Trump has previously cited phone calls from unnamed figures to generate support for an argument he’s trying to make or highlight an accomplishment. When Trump inserted himself into the case of the rapper A$AP Rocky, who was being held in a Swedish jail in July, he said he was responding to personal overtures from black Americans.

“Many, many members of the African American community have called me — friends of mine — and said, ‘Could you help?'” he said last month.

Trump said both governments would have trade discussions on Thursday “at a different level” as a new wave of tariffs on Chinese goods are set to be levied on September 1 and December 15.

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