Tuesday , 10 December 2019
Latest News
Home » Breaking News / Latest News » Donald Trump storms out of NATO confab after been mocked by UK,France and Canadian leaders
Donald Trump storms out of NATO confab after been mocked by UK,France and Canadian leaders

Donald Trump storms out of NATO confab after been mocked by UK,France and Canadian leaders

Donald Trump departed London on Wednesday after a dramatic two days at the NATO summit where he bickered with Emmanuel Macron, had to meet behind-closed-doors with host leader Boris Johnson, and was mocked by Justin Trudeau – resulting in the president calling him ‘two-faced’ and furiously canceling his final scheduled press conference.

Trump reacted in a snit of anger after Johnson, Macron and Trudeau were caught on a hot mic mocking him during a leaders’ reception at Buckingham Palace Tuesday night hosted by the Queen.

‘He’s two-faced,’ the president said of the Canadian prime minister. But he was then later was caught on another hot mic of his own bragging about his put-down of Trudeau. ‘That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced,’ he was heard saying.

Trump then tweeted about an hour later that he would leave the summit without holding a scheduled press conference, bringing an acrimonious end to the gathering where the president made news for fighting with his fellow world leaders.

In his wake, Macron(France), Johnson(UK) and Trudeau(Canada) scrambled to wriggle out of their embarrassing diplomatic blunder where they mocked Trump behind his back.

Macron raged that the video – said to be captured by freelance British cameraman Andy Laurence and handed to broadcasters by NATO – had surfaced at all and refused to be pressed on the gossip which was caught on hot-mic.

 

*Trump’s helicopter departing the conference

The French premier said: ‘I am not going to comment on stolen videos. That video wasn’t supposed to be filmed in that room.’

Relations between Macron and Trump were already prickly after the French president branded NATO ‘brain dead’, comments the US leader slammed as ‘very nasty’.

The British prime minister pleaded ignorance when grilled by reporters about his part in the Palace gossip circle and said: ‘I really don’t know what is being referred to there.’

And his Canadian counterpart sought to squirm his way out of the awkwardness by insisting that they were not ridiculing the President but merely expressing surprise he chose to announce details of an upcoming G7 summit.

Trudeau said: ‘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 everyone’s team, every different leader has teams that every now and then have their jaw drop at unscheduled surprises like that video itself for example.

The Canadian PM had a quiet word and a handshake with Trump as he arrived at the summit Wednesday, and later tried to shrug off the episode.

At a press conference he said: ‘As you all know, we have a very good and constructive relationship between me and the President.’

But Trudeau wouldn’t answer whether he apologized to the president for his remarks.

He said: ‘Last night I made a 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. But it was certainly notable. I’ve had a number of a good conversations with the president over today and yesterday.’

Asked if the gaffe had given him pause for thought, Trudeau said that ensuring the focus of attention remained on matters of substance ‘is something that we’re all going to try to do a little harder.’

The episode began with an extraordinary hot mic moment at Buckingham Palace.

In footage from the reception, which appears to be edited, Trudeau and the other leaders are seen chuckling about Trump while Princess Anne watches on.

It shows PM Boris Johnson ask: ‘Is that why you were late?’ as he stoops down and chuckles in disbelief, before Canadian leader Trudeau, swigging from his drink, shoots back: ‘He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top.’

The video then cuts to a later clip, which is without context, and sees Macron pointing furiously before Danish Prime Minister Rutte exclaims ‘fake news media’ and Trudeau adds: ‘You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.’  He then motions as if his jaw is dropping.

At a press conference Wednesday, Trudeau explained his remark about Trump’s team jaw dropping was at the president’s announcement next June’s G7 meeting, which will be hosted by the United States, will be held at Camp David.

‘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 everyone’s team, everyone different leader has teams that every now and then have their jaw drop at unscheduled surprises like that video itself for example,’ Trudeau said.

He said that came up because his fellow G7 leaders wanted to know the details about their next gathering.

‘As we talk to G7 leaders there is an interest in where the next G7 meeting is going to be and I was pleased to share with them the story of how that came about, that we are going to be gathering, apparently, at Camp David,’ Trudeau said.

Trump, during his Tuesday afternoon one-on-one meeting with Trudeau, said that next year’s G7 meeting will be held at Camp David.

Originally Trump announced it would be held it at his Doral, Fla., golf course but he reversed that decision when even some Republicans criticized it as inappropriate.

‘We’ll do it at Camp David,’ he said. ‘It’s nearby. It’s close. We’re going to give good access to the press. … It will be at camp David which is a place that people like.’

But the president did not look amused when reporters asked him about the hot mic video during his meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

‘Honestly with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy,’ the president said after a long pause.

He then explained his theory on why Trudeau said what he did, arguing the prime minister mocked him because he gave Trudeau grief during their sit down on Tuesday about Canada not paying enough in fees to be a member of the NATO alliance.

The president wants all member countries to pay 2 per cent of their GDP as their NATO dues.

‘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 per cent and I guess he’s not very happy about it,’ Trump said.

‘He’s not paying 2 per cent, and he should be paying 2 per cent. It’s Canada. They have money. And they should be paying 2 per cent.

‘So I called him out on that, and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about that, but that’s the way it is. Look, I’m representing the U.S. And he should be paying .

more than he’s paying. And he understands it. So I can imagine he’s not that happy. But that’s the way it is,’ he added.

The pair exchanged words at a photos session for NATO leaders on Wednesday morning but it is unclear what was discussed. Trudeau wouldn’t say when asked about it by Canadian reporters later in the day.

At their Tuesday meeting, Trump noted Canada is ‘slightly delinquent’ in its NATO payments but added: ‘But they’ll be okay. I have confidence.

About Femi Ige