Trump Calls Trudeau ‘Two-Faced’ After Video Appears To Show Leaders Gossiping

Donald Trump fired back at Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, calling him “two-faced” after a video surfaced showing several NATO leaders talking about the U.S. president without him present.

Trump made the comment during a photo-op with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He told reporters he believes Trudeau was upset about him bringing up Canada falling short of the NATO target of spending two per cent of its GDP on defence.

READ MORE: Canadian missions in Latvia, Iraq key to NATO’s bond, secretary-general says

“He’s two-faced. And honestly, with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy, but the truth is that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying two per cent and I guess he’s not very happy about it,” Trump said

“He’s not paying two percent and he should be paying two percent. It’s Canada, they have money.”

He continued: “Look, I’m representing the U.S. and he should be paying more than he’s paying, and he understands that. I can imagine he’s not that happy, but that’s the way it is.”

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Trump was responding to a now widely-shared video that was taken during a reception in London at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night.

In it, the Canadian Prime Minister can be seen chatting with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne.

Johnson asks Macron: “Is that why you were late?”

Trudeau then says: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,” which was a reference to a lengthy and unscheduled question-and-answer session held by Trump earlier in the day. However, Trump was never mentioned by name.

READ MORE: NATO leaders insist they’re united despite infighting among some

The video was shot by the British host’s pool camera and has proliferated online.

Trudeau was peppered with questions about the video at a news conference Wednesday, as the summit wrapped up.

He deflected any suggestion of a rift between him and Trump, noting that they had met that day and had “a number of good conversations” throughout the summit.

“I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump and I was happy to take part of it and it was certainly notable,” Trudeau said.

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He also clarified one part of the video. At some point, Trudeau says: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

According to Trudeau, that comment was in reference to the seemingly unexpected announcement by Trump that the next G7 will be hosted at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, and not at the Trump National Doral Resort near Miami, as previously announced.

“We were all surprised and, I think, pleased to learn that the next G7 will be at Camp David. I think that was an unscheduled announcement and I think every different leader has teams that every now and then have their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises like that for example,” he said.

When asked what value the conversation with world leaders about Trump served Canadians, Trudeau said he recognized the topic of G7 was “an interest” among the leaders.

“I was pleased to share with them the story of how that came about, that we’re going to be gathering at Camp David in the coming year,” he said.

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In a meeting between Trump and Trudeau one day earlier, Trump referred to Canada as “slightly delinquent” when discussing the two per cent benchmark set in 2014. Canada is spending about 1.3 per cent of GDP on defense.

“Some are major delinquent,” Trump said. “Some are way below one per cent and that’s unacceptable, and then if something happens we’re supposed to protect them and it’s really not fair and it has never been fair.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg credited Trump for nudging members to step up and meet the benchmark.

Trudeau acknowledged Trump’s concern as legitimate. However, he defended Canada’s spending and its history of “stepping up” for NATO initiatives.

And we will continue to,” he said.

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He reiterated that Canada’s relationship with the U.S. — and his own relationship with Trump — are healthy.

“The relationship we have with the United States is an extraordinarily important and effective one,” he said. The relationship between Canada and the United States is extremely strong, and I have a very good relationship with President Trump and his team.”

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Trump was also scheduled for a press conference to close out the NATO summit, but called it off relatively last minute, saying he had already “done so many.”

In audio from a pool feed, according to the pool reporter, Trump was heard doubling-down on his “two-faced” comment. He also mocked what he assumed would be the media’s reaction to his cancelled press conference.

An unidentified attendee can be heard telling Trump: “You’ll be in double digits for press conferences. And then you know what they’ll say?”

Trump responds: “He didn’t do a press conference! He didn’t do a press conference!”

“That was funny when I said that guy was two-faced,” Trump adds, referring to Trudeau.

— with files from the Associated Press

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