US President Donald Trump reckons reports that he rubbed world leaders the wrong way at the Group of Seven summit are a put-up job, even releasing photos as “proof” it was all sweetness and light at the parley in Canada.
One of those photographs shows him touching Angela Merkel’s hand as the two of them smile with other G7 leaders flanking the German chancellor.
That picture is in marked contrast to a snap Ms Merkel shared via Instagram as the summit drew to a close.
In that image, which went viral and spawned a wave of memes, the German chancellor wears a stern expression while leaning aggressively on a table and appearing to speak directly to Mr Trump, who sits with arms crossed and what struck many as a look of arrogant defiance on his face.
The photo was seen as documentation that Mr Trump was alone against the will of other world leaders. But Mr Trump now insists the Merkel photo is misleading.
“I have a great relationship with Angela Merkel of Germany, but the Fake News Media only shows the bad photos (implying anger) of negotiating an agreement,” Mr Trump tweeted.
Another photo shows Mr Trump clasping hands with French President Emmanuel Macron, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his other side.
“The Fake News Media said that I did not get along with other Leaders at the #G7Summit in Canada. They are once again, WRONG!” he wrote.
At the end of the contentious summit, Mr Trudeau angered Mr Trump by saying new US tariffs on Canada on national security grounds were “insulting.”
Mr Trump responded by accusing Mr Trudeau of dishonesty and withdrawing Washington’s endorsement of a joint communiqué.