He continued to promote the idea at a Saturday press conference, and in so doing, Trump glossed over the reason Russia was booted the first place.
“This used to be the G8, not the G7," said Trump on Saturday morning at a press conference before he left the G7 meeting in Quebec. "Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in."
That "something" was Russia's invasion and annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014, which prompted international leaders to vote to remove Russia from the G8 as punishment.
When it was brought to his attention that Russia got the boot after violating another country's borders and was asked if the U.S. should now recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Trump defaulted to blaming former President Barack Obama:
“You have to ask President Obama, because he was the one that let Crimea get away, that was during his administration," said Trump.
"Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea," he said.
Crimea would not have fallen to Russian hands had Trump been president, he indicated, though without explanation as to how he would have prevented it.
“I may have had a much different attitude," said Trump.
"With that being said, it's been done a long time," he said of an invasion that occurred less than four years ago.
“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it’d be good for Russia. I think it’d be good for the United States," said Trump, describing the G8 as more "meaningful" than the G7.
"We're looking for peace in the world. We're not looking to play games," he said.
The G-7 members declined to back up the president on this matter.