President Trump on Wednesday showed his annoyance at Justin Trudeau after video surfaced of the Canadian prime minister apparently mocking him during a conversation with other world leaders at the NATO summit in London.
The president then said he would skip the usual post-summit press conference and fly home early.
“He’s two-faced,” Trump said when asked about Trudeau and the video clip, which was taken at the NATO reception at Buckingham Palace Tuesday night.
In the footage, which was shot from a distance by a camera crew covering the casual event but is only intermittently audible, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can be heard asking French President Emmanuel Macron why he was late.
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,” Trudeau interjected in an apparent reference to Trump’s lengthy question-and-answer sessions with reporters before bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. “I just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”
Trump made his remark about Trudeau’s hypocrisy to reporters before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday afternoon. He then canceled plans to attend the traditional closing press conference with the other NATO leaders and said he would fly back early to Washington.
The president met with Trudeau on Tuesday afternoon. During their sit-down, Trump raised the issue of Canada’s defense spending in the NATO alliance, calling Trudeau “slightly delinquent” for failing to meet the NATO target of 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense.
Canada spends 1.27 percent of GDP on its military.
“Honestly with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy, I find him to be a very nice guy,” Trump continued. “But you know, the truth is I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent, and I guess he’s not very happy about it.
“He’s not paying 2 percent, and he should be paying 2 percent,” the president continued. “It’s Canada. They have money. And they should be paying 2 percent. And I called him out on that and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it, but that’s the way it is. Look, I’m representing the U.S. And he should be paying more than he’s paying, and he understands that. So I can imagine he’s not that happy, but that’s the way it is.”
After speaking to reporters, Trump himself was caught on an open mic bragging about his Trudeau retort.
“That was funny when I said that guy was two-faced,” the president said.
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