President Trump bragged to donors during a Wednesday night fund-raiser in Missouri that he made up facts during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he insisted that the US had a trade deficit with Canada while having no idea if a deficit existed, reports The Washington Post.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio of the private event in Missouri. “Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in—‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed.”
“. . . So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. . . . I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. . . . And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’”
“‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. . . . And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”
According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Trump was absolutely incorrect: the U.S. has a massive $12 billion trade surplus with Canada.
Hours after The Post’s report, Trump took to Twitter to repeat the same lie to the American people: “We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!”
We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018
As Vanity Fair notes:
In his 1987 classic The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump revealed that he’s a big proponent of “truthful hyperbole,” or what a layman would refer to as “lies.” “People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular,” he wrote. “It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.” This, in other words, was clearly a man who had made a cottage industry out of lying through his caps.