U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 30, 2020.
(Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he is postponing the Group of Seven summit from June until September and that he wants to invite Russia and other countries to the meeting, the latest in a series of flip-flops over the coronavirus pandemic-impacted talks.

The G-7 does not properly represent what is happening in the world and is a "very outdated" group of countries, Trump said aboard Air Force One, referring to the framework that also involves Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union.

He said he also wanted Australia, South Korea and India to join the meeting. A White House official said the purpose of bringing together traditional allies is to talk about the future of China.

Trump's remarks came after his idea to hold an in-person G-7 meeting in the Washington area next month hit a snag when German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly rebuffed the invitation due to concerns about traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. president was initially planning to bring together the G-7 leaders from June 10 to 12 at Camp David, the presidential retreat near the capital. But as the virus outbreak intensified in March, the White House said it will instead hold a video conference-based meeting.

That announcement, however, seemed to be superseded by a Trump tweet last week suggesting that he wanted to reschedule the G-7 summit to showcase the country's return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told a press conference that the G-7 would be happening "towards the end of June," hopefully at the White House.

While moves to reopen the country have begun nationwide, the number of deaths from the coronavirus continues to rise. The United States recently exceeded 100,000, more than any other country in the world.

Meanwhile, protests have erupted across the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man by police in the city of Minneapolis on Monday, with many turning violent as authorities move to put down unrest.