President Trump was the ultimate jet setter this week as he flew from the Middle East to Rome and Brussels, before ending the week at a G-7 meeting on the small, Italian island of Taormina. There he met with the leaders of some of the biggest economies in the world including the UK, France, Italy, and Canada. But it seems maybe the travel had started to catch up with him by the time he reached the summit. When it came time to change locations, Trump waited for a golf cart while other G-7 leaders walked ahead.
They had all been together in a Greek amphitheater for a group photo when time came to move 700 yards to a piazza, The Sunday Times reported. Instead of walking with his peers, Trump stayed behind and waited for an electric-powered golf cart to come and pick him up.
According to the report, he was last to arrive to the group photo and then only resumed traveling on foot from the town's piazza to the summit venue, the Hotel San Domenico. According to Google Maps, the entire trip from the amphitheater to the hotel was a one kilometer or 13-minute walk. Bustle reached out to the White House for comment.
It could be that Trump was avoiding his peers. The biggest topic of the day was climate change, with Trump declining to commit to the Paris climate deal. The other six world leaders present had hoped to pressure the president into honoring the agreement. When Trump declined, even Germany's Angela Merkel had trouble hiding her feelings on the matter while speaking to reporters:
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
Trump tweeted about the matter Saturday. "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" he wrote. One of the other big issues that the leaders, including Trump, did see more agreement on was protectionism, or the idea that countries would prioritize goods made in their own countries over imports. Trump's one-time proposed border tax on anything imported would qualify.
That line of thinking now seems to be out. Trump also commented on the trade issues agreed upon at the meeting. It seems he has shifted his policy vision. Trump wrote on Twitter that he "had great meetings on everything, especially on trade where 'we push for the removal of all trade-distorting practices....to foster a truly level playing field.'" That was good enough for Italy. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told reporters, "We are satisfied by how things went."
Trump's golf cart ride through the city could also be explained by security worries. Evidently the Secret Service had concerns, including one that streets in the town were too narrow — especially the one from the heliport to the venue. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that efforts were made to widen it, but it's unlikely that all the requests from the agency charged with protecting the president were possible.
Whatever the reason for the ride, it would be great if Trump could catch up with the other G-7 leaders and agree on the Paris deal. If it's in a golf cart, so be it.