Photographs by AP/EVAN VUCCI
French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talk Friday at welcoming ceremonies for Group of Seven leaders in Charlevoix, Quebec.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
SINGAPORE -- President Donald Trump reprised his criticism of Canada's prime minister Tuesday, threatening that Justin Trudeau's tough exchanges with him over trade policy would "cost a lot of money for the people of Canada."
Trump adviser Peter Navarro, meanwhile, said Tuesday that he made a mistake when he said "there's a special place in hell" for Trudeau.
Trump said he departed the Group of Seven summit that Trudeau hosted in Quebec late last week on "very friendly" terms with his six counterparts, including the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.
"When I got on to the plane, I think that Justin probably didn't know that Air Force One has about 20 televisions," Trump said. "And I see the television, and he's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States. I say, push them around? We just shook hands. It was very friendly."
Trump said he was retaliating against Canada with countervailing tariffs, saying of Trudeau: "He learned that's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned." Trump added, wagging his finger, "You can't do that. You can't do that."
The United States has alienated Canada and other allies by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, arguing that they pose a threat to U.S. national security. The move has been roundly criticized by Canada and the European Union, leading to heightened tensions at last week's G-7 summit.
Trump made his comments in a wide-ranging news conference in Singapore after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump was asked about the contrast between the respect he accorded Kim on Tuesday and the hostility he has shown Trudeau in recent days, and what he would say to those who worry he is treating America's longtime friends, such as Canada, as enemies and its longtime enemies, such as North Korea, as friends.
"I think it's a very fair question," Trump said. "I had a very good meeting with the G-7. And I left the meeting, and I'll be honest, we're being taken advantage of by virtually every one of those countries very seriously."
Trump called Trudeau "dishonest" and "weak" in tweets after the summit on Saturday.
When asked about Trump's remarks in Parliament on Tuesday, Trudeau said he supports Trump's efforts on North Korea and looks forward to the details of that agreement.
"On his comments, I'm going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests," Trudeau said before walking away from reporters.
Trump advisers also took up the attack in appearances on Sunday's news shows, leveling more withering and unprecedented criticism against Trudeau, branding him a back-stabber unworthy of Trump's time. "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," Navarro said on Fox News Sunday.
Navarro seemed to apologize for the remarks on Tuesday.
"Let me correct a mistake I made," Navarro said at a Wall Street Journal conference Tuesday, according to video provided by the newspaper's CFO Network.
"My job was to send a signal of strength," he said at the conference in Washington. "The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message. I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words."
Citing the Chinese philosopher Confucius, Navarro said, "If you make a mistake and don't correct it, that's a mistake."
Asked if he was apologizing, Navarro said, "yeah, absolutely."
The apology could ease tensions after Canada's parliament condemned the personal attack on Trudeau and as Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland gets ready to meet with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today in Washington.
Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Tuesday that he's "glad" that Navarro admitted that he misspoke. "The comment was a bit over the top," Corker said.
A spokesman for Trudeau, Eleanore Catenaro, declined to comment on Navarro's acknowledgement of a mistake.
Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, said:
"Navarro himself crossed a line, basically telling a leader of a foreign nation that he needs to go to hell. ...I don't care how mad, how angry you are, you don't treat the head of state of another country like that unless you are getting ready for a military engagement of some kind."
Heyman waged a campaign on Twitter to persuade Navarro to apologize by saying he was contacting U.S. politicians about his remarks.
Navarro, who has frustrated some members of the Trump administration by encouraging the president's protectionist instincts, was also rebuked by Republicans for his coarse language.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said, "I thought he should've kept his big mouth shut."
And Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said that Navarro's comments were not the words that he would have chosen to characterize the leader of Canada.
"I think that the Judgment Day that separates us from heaven and hell is not dependent on whether you agree with the president," Short told CNN.
Earlier on Tuesday at the Washington conference, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said the U.S. and Canada need to "take a deep breath."
"There's been a lot of emotional action on all sides. And I think what people need to do at this moment is take a step back," Hassett said. "Politicians can get into disagreements and they can have heated disputes, but you have to think about where does this go, how bad could it get and the disputes are over a really, really small share of GDP."
TRUMP: PHOTO BENIGN
Trump also said at his news conference that a photograph released by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman that went viral captured a friendlier mood than what the snapshot conveyed to many analysts.
"The picture with Angela Merkel, who I get along with very well, where I'm sitting there like this" -- Trump said, crossing his arms -- "that picture, I'm waiting for the document because I wanted to see the final document."
Trump continued: "It was very friendly. I know it didn't look friendly; it was reported as nasty both ways, I was angry with her -- actually, we were just talking, the whole group, unrelated to everything, very friendly, waiting for the document to come back."
Information for this article was contributed by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post; by Zeke Miller, Catherine Lucey, Rob Gillies and Paul Wiseman of The Associated Press; by Jenny Leonard and Reade Pickert of Bloomberg News; and by Alan Rappeport of The New York Times.
A Section on 06/13/2018
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