World, Americas

Trump calls Canada's Trudeau 'two-faced'

US president criticizes Canada for failing to live up to NATO goals for defense spending as percentage of GDP

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 04.12.2019
Trump calls Canada's Trudeau 'two-faced' FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau "two-faced" when asked by a reporter about Trudeau’s jokes apparently at his expense.

"He's two-faced," said Trump, near the end of a two-day NATO summit in London, when asked about Trudeau’s private remarks a day earlier in an informal conversation with the leaders of France and U.K. which were caught by microphones and went viral.

However, he lost no time in calling Trudeau a "nice guy."

Trump also said he had criticized Canada for not living up to NATO's spending goals.

"The truth is I called him out on the fact that he's not paying 2% and I guess he's not very happy about it," Trump said, adding "he should be paying 2%” and that Canada "has money."

Trump was referring to national defense spending as a percentage of NATO’s member state GDP, a frequent bugbear for the U.S. leader.

"I can imagine he's not that happy, but that's the way it is," added Trump.

Trump's remarks on the Canadian leader came only a day after he slammed French leader Emmanuel Macron over the NATO "brain dead" comment last month, calling it "insulting, very disrespectful."

Since taking office, Trump has gained a reputation for alienating NATO allies and disrupting meetings of the alliance.

On the sidelines of the NATO summit, Trump also gave a luncheon to eight other countries that commit 2% of their GDP to NATO. 

Security risk

During the meetings, Trump said he urged NATO allies to avoid using the 5G services of Chinese telecom Huawei.

“I do think it’s a security risk, it’s a security danger,” Trump told reporters amid an escalating trade war between U.S. and China.

“And I spoke to Italy and they look like they are not going to go forward with that. I spoke to other countries, they are not going to go forward. Everybody I’ve spoken to is not going to go forward,” Trump said.

In a summit declaration, NATO itself said: “NATO and Allies, within their respective authority, are committed to ensuring the security of our communications, including 5G, recognizing the need to rely on secure and resilient systems.”

The declaration was interpreted as lack of agreement over Huawei among member states.

Cancelling his NATO press conference, Trump also said he will be heading directly back to Washington.

"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," Trump said on Twitter.

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