President Trump on Wednesday called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” after a viral clip circulated showing Trudeau appearing to gossip with other world leaders about Trump’s lateness and conduct at bilateral NATO meetings.
“Well, he’s two-faced,” Trump said when asked if he’d seen the video.
“And honestly with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy,” Trump added. “I find him to be a very nice guy.”
JUST IN: Asked about video of NATO leaders caught on camera speaking candidly, President Trump says PM Trudeau "is two-faced," but adds "honestly, he's a nice guy." https://t.co/A0kQ00ymEc pic.twitter.com/a1LDVCzenI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 4, 2019
Trump then suggested that Trudeau was upset that he’d been critical of Canada failing to meet a 2 percent commitment to defense spending during their one-on-one meeting on Tuesday in London.
“They should be paying 2 percent,” Trump said. “So I called him out on that, and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it, but that’s the way it is.”
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation posted a 25-second clip on Tuesday that showed Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte appearing to have a laugh about Trump’s behavior during the summit. But none of the leaders explicitly named Trump.
.@JustinTrudeau, @EmmanuelMacron, @BorisJohnson and other VIPs shared a few words at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. No one mentions @realDonaldTrump by name, but they seem to be discussing his lengthy impromptu press conferences from earlier in the day. (Video: Host Pool) pic.twitter.com/dVgj48rpOP
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) December 3, 2019
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,” Trudeau said, referring to Trump’s lengthy presser at the outset of meetings with him, Macron and the NATO secretary general.
“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” Trudeau said.
Macron could be seen gesturing with his hands and responding.
Trudeau admitted Wednesday that he and other world leaders were talking about Trump when they were caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace event the night before.
“Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable,” Trudeau said during a Wednesday press conference.
“I have a very productive and positive relationship with Mr. Trump… We will continue to have an excellent relationship. The relationship between Canada and the United States is deep and goes far beyond the relationship between a prime minister and a president,” Trudeau added.
“We’ll go directly back. I think we’ve done plenty of press conferences — unless you’re demanding a press conference, we’ll do one — but I think we’ve had plenty of questions,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Trump later officially canceled the press conference in a series of tweets.
“Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before,” the president wrote.
“Just finished meetings with Turkey and Germany. Heading to a meeting now with those countries that have met their 2% GOALS, followed by meetings with Denmark and Italy,” he continued. “When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!”
Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m.