On Friday evening, US President Trump addressed the escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing, claiming that “this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents.”

US President Donald Trump has clarified his recent remarks on the Washington-Beijing trade row, in which he specifically declared himself “the chosen one” to tackle the standoff.

“You know exactly what I meant. It was sarcasm. It was joking, we were all smiling. And a question like that is just fake news,” Trump told reporters before departing for the Group of Seven summit in the French resort of Biarritz.

Trump spoke a few days after he described his increase of pressure on China as an attempt to clean up messes left by his predecessors, such as Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

“Somebody said this is Trump’s trade war. It’s not my trade war. This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents,” Trump argued, adding that “somebody had to do it” and that he is “the chosen one”.

“Somebody had to do it, so I took on China. I took on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning,” the US President noted.

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