As Donald Trump departed the G7 summit in Canada four hours early, CNN reported, skipping an important conference on climate change with the remaining six world leaders — and then pulling back his support for the traditional joint statement made by the seven leaders to wrap up the summit, as Newsweek reported — German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared a photo to her official Instagram account that sent Twitter into a frenzy, with social media users assuming that the photo showed Merkel scolding Trump.
The photo, Vanity Fair reported, showed “the whole group in what looks like a heated debate, Trump with his arms crossed and Merkel leaning in front of his table as if she’d like to leap over it.”
Trump’s self-imposed isolation from the leaders of six other major world democracies began on Friday as Trump called for the G7 to add Russia back into the group, even though Russia has not reversed its annexation of Crimea which is what led the G7 to expel Russia in 2014, according to CNN. In Trump’s closing press conference, he again called for Russia to be reinstated, while taking to his Twitter account to ridicule Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak.”
Here’s the full Instagram photo shared by Merkel.
Twitter users were immediately delighted by the photo — and the fact that Merkel herself posted it, which appeared to be a way for the German leader to troll Trump — with even the former Prime Minister of Belgium getting his thoughts on the record, via his Twitter account.
But the Belgian politician was far from alone in his fascination with the Merkel photo.
Trump himself posted a series of Twitter messages as he departed the G7 conference in Canada, on his way to Singapore where he was scheduled to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Monday. In addition to deriding Trudeau in the tweets, he also accused the other countries of “Trade Abuse.” In another Twitter posting, Trump said that the U.S. would “look at” imposing tariffs on imported automobiles.
Merkel responded to Trump’s tweets as well, calling them “sobering and depressing, ” according to the French Press Agency.
Comedian Kathy Griffin also praised Merkel for posting the G7 photo.
At the same time, model Chrissie Teigen was amused by Trump’s seeming petulant posture.
Health care policy expert Topher Spiro was also pleased by the Merkel photo.
While another Twitter user contrasted Trump’s relationship with his fellow G7 leaders, with the relationship enjoyed by President Barack Obama.
Merkel was likely already annoyed at Trump, who according to a New York Magazine report, showed up late to a morning meeting on women’s empowerment, which New York wrote, “admittedly, is not high on Trump’s list of concerns.” Trump took his seat next to International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who was in turn, seated next to Merkel — placing Trump net to arguably the two most powerful women in the world.
Even the media in India wondered if Trump was being scolded by an angry Merkel.
Merkel’s response, however, was not limited to posting a telling photo.
According to the news agency Reuters, Merkel said on Sunday that the European Union must now strengthen its alliances with Germany and Japan while preparing retaliatory economic measures against Trump’s new trade tariffs against other G7 countries.