Top White House officials ratcheted up their attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday, accusing him of a “betrayal” and saying there was a “special place in hell” for leaders who cross President Donald Trump, a day after Trudeau’s remarks at a news conference led Trump to withdraw support of a Group of 7 agreement with allies.
After the G-7 summit in Quebec Saturday, Trump tweeted aboard Air Force One that the United States would not sign a joint statement. Trump, who was headed to Singapore for a summit with North Korean leaders, criticized Trudeau for making “false statements” at a news conference held after Trump had left Canada. Trump tweeted that Trudeau was “very dishonest & weak.”
Trudeau said at the news conference that while the G-7 meeting was “very successful,” Canada could impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. “As Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but also we will not be pushed around,” he said.
Lawrence Kudlow, the White House National Economic Council director, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” described Trudeau’s remarks as a “sophomoric play.”
“He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Kudlow said. “You don’t walk away and start firing bullets.”
“It’s a betrayal,” he added. “Essentially double-crossing.”
White House Director of Trade Policy Peter Navarro said on “Fox News Sunday” that “there’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Twitter Saturday sought to counter the comments about Trudeau.
“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values,” McCain wrote. “Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”
But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” “I’m not so sure John’s right about where America is on trade.” He added, “I’m not so sure a majority of Americans believe that globalization and free trade is in our interests. I believe that. John McCain believes it . . . there’s a movement all over the world to look inward, not outward, and I think it’s a mistake. But I’m not so sure most Americans agree with John McCain and Lindsey Graham.”
Trump has drawn criticism in recent days for suggesting that Russia rejoin the G-7. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “right now, the president is actually driving our allies away from us as we need them even more, while welcoming in the Russians.”
Trump on Sunday arrived in Singapore, where he and Kim are to meet Tuesday to discuss that nation’s nuclear arsenal.