Trump says Trudeau 'two-faced' after microphone gaffe

Trump says Trudeau 'two-faced' after microphone gaffe

Britain's Princess Anne talks to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canada's
Britain's Princess Anne talks to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace. (Photo: AFP/Yui Mok)

WATFORD, United Kingdom: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Dec 4) described Justin Trudeau as "two-faced" after the Canadian prime minister was caught on camera apparently mocking him.

"He's two-faced," Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit, saying he had called out Trudeau on defence spending "and he's not very happy about it".

"I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he's not paying 2 per cent and I guess he's not very happy about it," Trump said, referring to an alliance commitment to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

"He's not paying 2 per cent and he should be. Canada - they have money."

Trudeau was picked up by microphones at a Buckingham Palace reception for NATO leaders on Tuesday evening apparently laughing about an impromptu press conference Trump did earlier.

Trudeau was filmed in a conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Princess Anne and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte by the British host's camera pool.

In the video, Johnson can be heard asking Macron: "Is that why you were late?"

Trudeau interjects: "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah! Forty minutes."

Other words were exchanged but could not be heard, before Trudeau added: "I just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor."

In a press conference on Wednesday, Trudeau played down the video, saying that he had been surprised but happy with events at a bilateral meeting earlier in the day.

"We had a great meeting yesterday between me and the president... Last night I made a reference to the fact there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump, I was happy to take part in it but it was certainly notable," Trudeau said, when asked whether he had apologised to Trump for the comment.

"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 who every now and then their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises, like that video itself for example," Trudeau said.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday, Johnson said that it was "complete nonsense" to suggest he did not take Trump seriously.

"That's complete nonsense and I don't know where that has come from."

Asked if the leaders had been talking about Trump, he said he didn't know what was being referred to.

Source: Agencies/nh