It’s fair to say the NATO leaders’ meeting in Britain is not going terribly well.
Donald Trump hit out at Justin Trudeau on Wednesday after a candid video emerged of the Canadian prime minister ridiculing the U.S. president to the obvious delight and amusement of other world leaders. A fed-up Trump then canceled his scheduled press conference and said he’d fly straight home.
The video shows Trudeau with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a gathering at Buckingham Palace. Trudeau mocked Trump’s unexpected Monday press conferences, and said he “watched [Trump’s] team’s jaws drop to the floor” when the president made an announcement, which wasn’t specified in the video.
Trudeau later confirmed the leaders were laughing about Trump’s “impromptu press conference” at the meeting and, according to Canada’s CBC News, said he was talking about Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will host the next G-7 summit at Camp David.
Johnson can be seen laughing at Trudeau’s shtick, and even the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne appears to join in.
The British prime minister was asked about laughing at Trump at his press conference. “No. That’s complete nonsense, I don’t know where that’s come from,” he said, suggesting that he did not know about the video.
Trump made no such effort to swerve from the controversy, hitting back on Wednesday, saying: “Well, 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 I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent, and I guess he’s not very happy about it.” (CBC News reported Wednesday that Trudeau “waved off” the “two-faced” remark and said his relationship with Trump was “excellent.”)
Trump has repeatedly complained that the other NATO countries aren’t spending as much as the U.S. on their defense budgets.
Following his comments on Trudeau, Trump suggested he would cancel a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, saying he has done enough appearances in front of reporters during the summit.
Trump later confirmed he would be heading home early from the summit on Twitter, writing: “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.”
Before it got derailed, the NATO meeting was supposed to be a joyful celebration of the alliance’s 70th anniversary.