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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Would Trump would have been better off skipping G-20 summit?

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with President Donald

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with President Donald Trump before a working session at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday. Credit: AP/Susan Walsh

By now there appears to be little practical point to President Donald Trump's Japan trip.

Big news is breaking back home. The Supreme Court decisions, Democratic debates and woes at the southern border are all more significant than stately photo ops.

Upon arriving at the G-20, the president's mind clearly was elsewhere. He took to Twitter to slam as "ridiculous" the high court's decision on a controversial Census question. He said he asked lawyers if they can delay the whole process, which is unlikely.

Because of technology, Trump can just as easily razz leaders of India and Japan, as he did this week, from the comforts of Mar-a-Lago.

Will he say in person what he has broadcast on Twitter? Whatever the answer, Osaka seems a long way to go when you have FaceTime.

Rightly or wrongly, Trump attacks "globalist" deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord. He doesn't seem poised to reach any new agreements at this event. 

His top economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday was downplaying the significance of Trump's coming conference with President Xi Jinping.

For all anyone knows, Trump's trade representatives could accomplish more with their own discussions with Beijing.

Last December, when Trump met with Xi, Kudlow said the summit went "very well." Since then, a tariff war escalated.

But we'll see what happens, as the man likes to say.

On Wednesday, Trump was asked if he'll tell Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 not to meddle in the 2020 election. What he says to Putin is "none of your business," he replied. 

Trump met with Putin previously, at the G-20 and elsewhere, but U.S.-Russia relations remain status quo. In fact, as of last January, the two had met five times and what was said remained hazy. 

If they are not the public's business, these summits seem pointless, a mere institutional habit.

Still, the American president might have an indirect impact at the G-20 conference.

By not taking a leadership role, he has added interest to three-way meetings of the leaders of India, Russia and China, according to various press reports.

Trump said China's economy has been "going down the tubes." This may or may not be fake news. But again, he doesn't have to be overseas to say it.

Meanwhile, Trump called the U.S. defense arrangement with host nation Japan one-sided. But given the president's track record on making "the best deals," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe need not worry about his guest. 

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