Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is featured prominently in current international news cycles, after U.S. President Donald Trump called him two-faced during a joint press conference.
The confrontation comes after video released from Buckingham Palace Tuesday, which caught British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau speaking about an unnamed person. Johnson asks Macron why he was late, to which Trudeau responds: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.” Trudeau also speaks of “his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” though the subject isn’t named.
The footage has led many news outlets to report that the heads of state were openly gossiping about Trump.
The leaders of NATO’s 29 countries are gathering in London this week to honor the 70th anniversary of the military alliance.
While the bad blood may lead some to think this will inevitably turn into a political fallout, one expert doesn’t think so.
Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, says the debacle will be good for Trudeau’s profile, which Trump has attacked before.
“In Canada, people have such a low estimation of Trump that he elicits sympathy to whoever he attacks,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “People don’t take what Trump says seriously because he’s always reversing what he says.”
At the same press conference, Trump also referred to Trudeau as “a nice guy."
To that point, Trudeau explained to a press conference on Wednesday that he and Trump still have a good relationship.
“Every different leader has teams who, every now and then, have their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises -- like that video itself, for example,” Trudeau said.
Wiseman points out that Trump attacked NATO a few years ago, suggesting that the U.S. would pull out. It’s a contrast to Trump’s more recent attack on Macron for not showing enough support for NATO.
He says the fact that Trump left the current NATO meetings abruptly doesn’t hold much weight either, since he’s left other meetings, like the G7 in Charlevoix, early.
“Trump’s not interested in international relations,” says Wiseman. “He’s cut all kinds of trips short and often asks if he has to go to these things, and he has to but he doesn’t want to. Unless he thinks it could help him domestically, like wanting to meet the North Korean leader.”
On Twitter, people weighed in on the behaviour of both Trudeau and Trump.
Trump is being impeached today because he extorted Ukraine to help him win, then obstructed Congress (not for the first time).— Sandy Garossino (@Garossino) December 4, 2019
Yesterday he said he might not support NATO & threatened to send terrorists to France.
Today’s news cycle: Trudeau caught laughing. 😱😱😱
Donald Trump’s day so far:— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) December 4, 2019
- Bails on NATO summit early after Macron, Trudeau, Johnson and Princess Anne mock him
- What a crybaby!
- Televised impeachment hearings resume today
- Rudy admits “-1” phone call was from Trump
- Trump is going to prison
- It’s still only 8:50am
Trump called Trudeau "two-faced," canceled a press conference and left the Nato summit early after hearing audio of world leaders making fun of him.— St. Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 4, 2019
C'mon, Donald. It’s just locker room talk.
Those who are complaining about Trudeau for acting "unprofessionally" at NATO while carefully ignoring the other world leaders who also talked about Trump are showing their bias.— Friendly Neighbourhood Leftie🏳️🌈🇨🇦 (@C_Resists) December 4, 2019
If Trump wants to act like a child on the world stage, he should be called out for it.
🍊#PrincessAnne ignores Trump— 🏳️🌈✨Jay✨❄️ (@jayrotoole) December 4, 2019
🍊#PrinceCharles shakes hands with Melania, but not Trump
🍊#Trudeau states some facts about Trump
☄️Trump, the petulant child, pulls out of NATO
Loving the royals & actual world leaders right now.#ImpeachTrump #JailTrump pic.twitter.com/8VRtW0apF3
Interesting to see how different people are framing that NATO video.— Alheli Picazo (@a_picazo) December 4, 2019
People who dislike Trudeau are calling it a gaffe, "another embarrassment on the world stage" as if he's the only person involved.
Most everyone else notices the fact that Trump is the one without respect.
Macron says he's seen Trump's response to Trudeau and he's not going to comment on the tape. He seems to be suggesting it was poor form for the leaders to have been filmed in that way. #NATO— Latika M Bourke (@latikambourke) December 4, 2019
#Trudeau mocks #Trump at #natosummit (for long press con? 🤔)— Citizen of the planet Earth (@whiteloser80) December 4, 2019
Trump understandably annoyed
You'd think world leaders would act more sensibly
Then watch everyone throw a paddy when Trump pulls the US out of Nato#TrudeauWorstPM #TrudeauBlackface #TrumpUKVisit #NATOSummit2019 pic.twitter.com/7GCRiPmEj6
Trudeau, Merkel and Johnson laugh at Trump for his ridiculous press conferences & Trump cancels his press conferences, like a baby & leaves NATO. Imagine what could happen if the GOP said what they really thought of Trump? #NATOSummit2019— Amanda (@Caseykins421) December 4, 2019
1. Trump berates Trudeau & other NATO leaders, calling them out in a crass performance for the cameras.— Derek Smith (@MrSmithTwit) December 4, 2019
2. Trudeau & NATO leaders privately laugh over his poor form.
3. Trump gets offended & leaves?
So the playbook for impeachment should be... laughter? Mass, mocking laughter!
Just like at the G7 meeting last year, Justin Trudeau was meek and obedient to Donald Trump when they were face to face. But the moment Trump left the room Trudeau bad-mouthed him. Here he is doing the same in London, mocking Canada’s greatest NATO ally. pic.twitter.com/hGENrbnHg7— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) December 3, 2019