Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada’s relationship with the United States is “extremely strong,” despite President Donald Trump calling him “two-faced” after the Canadian prime minister was caught venting on camera as world leaders gathered in London at the NATO summit.
A misery-loves-company moment involving Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and the U.K.’s Boris Johnson, among others, has gone viral since it was captured on video during a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night.
In the video, Johnson can be heard asking Macron, “Is that why you were late?”
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau responds.
Trump is not mentioned by name. But Trudeau told reporters during a closing news conference on Wednesday that the president had a “notable” unscheduled news conference that day.
The footage also shows Trudeau saying, “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” which he later clarified was referring to Trump announcing the next G7 gathering will be held at Camp David.
“Every different leader has teams who every now and then have their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises like that video itself, for example,” said Trudeau.
Trump was asked about Trudeau’s comments on Wednesday, and responded “he’s two-faced.”
“I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying two per cent and I guess he’s not very happy about it,” Trump, referring to the target for spending on defence, said during a media availability Wednesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Wednesday morning, as leaders sat down for their first working session, Trudeau sought out Trump, and the two shook hands briefly, but exchanged few words.
Trade deal uncertainty
A day earlier, Trump told journalists in a wide-ranging news conference that he’s confident Canada will boost its military spending, and jokingly called Canada “slightly delinquent” when it comes to meeting NATO’s target for spending.
“So I called him out on that, and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about that, but that’s the way it is,” said Trump, after the Trudeau video made international headlines.
“It’s Canada. They have money.”
Besides defence spending,Trump and Trudeau were expected to talk about some high-profile and sensitive files during their sitdown Tuesday, including the detention of the two Canadian men in China and the progress of the new North American free trade deal.
The U.S. president clashed publicly with Macron on Tuesday during their extended news conference. The two disagreed over Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria and the French president’s description of NATO as being brain dead.
Prior to the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country would oppose a NATO plan to defend the Baltic states unless the alliance backed Turkey’s action against the Kurdish groups, which it considers terrorists.
It’s expected the leaders, who earlier Wednesday morning gathered for the annual family photo, will talk about everything from the fight against terrorism, to relationships with Russia and the rise of China.
For his part, Johnson is expected to remind NATO leaders behind closed doors that their commitment to defend one another is at the heart of the alliance they operate under a principle of “one for all, and all for one.”
.<a href=”https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JustinTrudeau</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@EmmanuelMacron</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BorisJohnson</a> and other VIPs shared a few words at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. No one mentions <a href=”https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@realDonaldTrump</a> by name, but they seem to be discussing his lengthy impromptu press conferences from earlier in the day. (Video: Host Pool) <a href=”https://t.co/dVgj48rpOP”>pic.twitter.com/dVgj48rpOP</a>