WASHINGTON â International trade, missiles and geopolitics were on the agenda at the Group of 20 economic summit on Friday. But to President Trump, the real chatter was about the 2016 presidential election in the United States â or, specifically, John Podesta, Hillary Clintonâs campaign chairman.
In the middle of one of the most important annual summits for world leaders â and his first â Mr. Trump made time to tweet that Mr. Podesta didnât hand over a computer server to the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. as part of the federal investigation into the hack of the Democratic National Committeeâs emails.
The server was never in Mr. Podestaâs possession, and at first, it appeared that perhaps only Mr. Trump was publicly talking about it.
That is, until Mr. Podesta chimed in.
In a series of pit stops during a cross-country road trip with his wife, Mr. Podesta tweeted back to call Mr. Trump a âwhack jobâ and to tell him to âget a gripâ and âget your head in the game.â Mr. Podesta reminded Mr. Trump that he was representing the United States at the forum in Hamburg, Germany, for the leaders of the worldâs largest economies.
âReally? Everyone?â Mr. Podesta wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post later Friday from Morehead, Ky. âIâve been at my share of global summits, so I sort of doubt that.â
If the White House was hoping to avoid bringing attention to ongoing Washington investigations into whether Mr. Trumpâs associates colluded with Moscow, the presidentâs tweet thrust the saga back into spotlight. It was the latest example of his history of writing incendiary tweets that seize attention.