President Donald Trump was defiant.
As the international media buzzed on Wednesday over a hot mic video that appeared to show Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regaling other national leaders with mockery of Trump at the NATO summit in England, Trump fielded a question on the topic during a news conference that preceded his announcement on Twitter he would be leaving the summit early.
And he had few kind words for the Canadian leader.
Trudeau, he said, was acting out because Trump had called out Canada’s unwillingness to meet its obligation to dedicate 2 percent of its gross domestic product to defense spending.
“He’s two-faced,” Trump said Wednesday during a sideline meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Check it out here.
— CNBC (@CNBC) December 4, 2019
“And, honestly, with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy. But, you know, the truth is, that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent and I guess he’s not very happy about it,” Trump said.
“He’s not paying 2 percent and he should be paying 2 percent. It’s Canada, they have money, and they should be paying 2 percent.
“So I called him out on that and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it, but that’s the way it is.”
Trump was referring to comments he’d made during a news conference with Trudeau the day before. Trump has made getting NATO nations to pay more for their own defense a major part of his relationship with the countries and this week’s gathering in the U.K. for the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was no different.
On Tuesday, Trump said Canada was “delinquent” in that spending.
“Slightly delinquent, I would say, Canada. But they’ll be OK. I have confidence,” Trump said, according to The Hill.
“Just slightly delinquent. Some are major delinquent. Some are way below 1 percent and that’s unacceptable. And then if something happens, we’re supposed to protect them and it’s not really fair.”
That’s not particularly harsh criticism — especially by Trump standards.
But if the president is right, it might have been in play during a Trudeau conversation recorded in a video that went viral.
Trudeau was speaking with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday evening when he was caught on a hot mic video apparently referring disparagingly to Trump.
Check out the video here.
.@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
For liberals, it was yet another reason to mock Trump, naturally.
But for sane people, it looked like teenagers gossiping about the popular kid behind his back, or maybe schoolkids making fun of the principal.
The fact is, no national leader is at a summit to make friends. He’s there to represent his country and get the best deal for his countrymen.
Trump has said repeatedly, in public and directly to NATO nations’ leaders that other member countries should be paying more for their own defense instead of foisting the burden onto the American taxpayer.
As if to prove the point, Trump cited NATO nations that have met their defense obligations in a Twitter post announcing he was leaving the summit before a joint news conference to close the summit.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2019
That announcement was sure to draw more liberal criticism, but really, what else is there to say?
“Look, I’m representing the U.S., and he should be paying more than he’s paying,” Trump said about Trudeau on Wednesday. “And he understands that. I can imagine he’s not that happy, but that’s the way it is.”
That’s exactly the kind of straight talk an American president needs to deliver, and that the country’s allies need to hear.
Author: Joe Saunders
Source: Western Journal: Trump Slams Canada’s ‘Two-Faced’ Trudeau over Hot Mic Video at NATO Summit