President Donald Trump -- irritable and inconsistent on the world stage -- raised, then swiftly dashed, hopes for an easing of his fast worsening trade war with China that is threatening the global economy.
The G7 summit in France unfolded in the now familiar manner of Trump's foreign trips. The United States, once the fulcrum of the Western alliance, was isolated. Foreign leaders who once looked to the US for direction largely tried not to antagonize a volatile American President. And Trump battled with the media, reacted furiously to any criticism of his performance and left whip lashed aides scrambling to explain his public comments.
The President's reversals and recriminations over the weekend recalled a wild day in Washington on Friday when his fury at Beijing's decision to hit back at his tariff assaults sent stock markets into turmoil and triggered extreme concern about a worsening standoff with China.
At one stunning moment on Sunday, Trump seemed to indicate he regretted his trade duel with China in comments that rocketed around the world amid concern about its economic impact. "I have second thoughts about everything," he said, leaving critics to hope the President was trying to make himself political room to deescalate the showdown.