‘Two-faced’ Trudeau says he was joking

DONALD Trump has stormed out of a NATO summit in London early, calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "two faced" after he was caught sniping him on video.

The outraged US president walked from the defence conference early after he pushed hard to get other NATO members to increase their defence spending. 

However, a conversation Mr Trudeau had with a group including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace last night has overshadowed the talks.

After Mr Johnson asked Mr Macron, "Is that why you were late?" Mr Trudeau could be heard saying, "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."

That appeared to be a reference to Mr Trump's long and unscheduled question-and-answer session with journalists earlier in the day.

Mr Trudeau also said: "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor."

France's President Emmanuel Macro, centre right, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne. Picture: AP
France's President Emmanuel Macro, centre right, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne. Picture: AP

Mr Trump wasn't mentioned by name during the exchange.

The pair exchanged tense looks on stage today, with Mr Trump giving him a frosty reception.

The US leader did not hold back when asked about Mr Trudeau during a press conference following a meeting with German leader Angela Merkel.

"He is two-faced," Mr Trump said. "With Trudeau, he is a nice guy, I find him to be a very nice guy, but the fact is I called him out on the fact that he is not paying 2 per cent and I guess he is not very happy about it."

"He is not paying 2 per cent, he should be paying 2 per cent. It is Canada, they have money.

I am representing the US. He should be paying more than his bang. He understands that."

Mr Trudeau has now responded, saying he was just joking around and claimed that he and Mr Trump had a good relationship despite the US President calling him "two-faced".

"I have a very productive and positive relationship with Mr. Trump … we will continue to have an excellent relationship," Mr Trudeau told reporters during a briefing in London at the NATO meeting.

Mr Trump announced via Twitter he would leave NATO, which was being held at the Grove Hotel in Watford, an hour's drive north of London.

"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!" he tweeted.

 

Mr Trump and Mr Trudeau seemed to be quite close, with the US President praising the Canadian at the White House in June.

"It's an honour to have the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. He's been a friend of mine," Mr Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, seated beside Mr Trudeau.

Mr Trump also promised to speak up on Mr Trudeau's behalf when he meets Chinese President Xi.

"I'll represent him well," Mr Trump said. "Anything I can do to help Canada, I will be doing."

The bromance between Mr Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron also appears to have soured.

Mr Macron and Mr Trump clashed over the French leaders concerns about Turkey's invasion of Syria to attack Kurdish-led forces who were once a US ally in the fight against Islamic State.

Mr Trump suggested France should take back some of its foreign fighters in the Syrian regions of Turkey in dispute.

 

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Mr Trump asked Mr Macron: "Would you like some nice IS fighters? I can give them to you."

Mr Macron wasn't amused.

"Let's be serious," he replied.

Mr Johnson tried to smooth relations, saying: "What we were all trying to do is understand Turkey's plans for that stretch of northern Syria, what they want to do, how they see the future there and the way forward."

"What we want to do is to avoid any misunderstandings between allies within NATO about Turkey's intentions and how that situation will develop."

Mr Trump said Mr Macron's recent comments that NATO is experiencing "brain death" is very insulting to the military alliance's other 28 members.

 

stephen.drill@news.co.uk


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