Trump’s making enemies, a friend
PRESIDENT Donald Trump took more swipes at Canada and its prime minister over trade issues as he settled in for a summit with North Korea in Singapore, contending that “fair trade is now to be called fool trade if it is not reciprocal”.
Mr Trump roiled the Group of Seven meeting in Canada by first agreeing to a group statement on trade only to withdraw from it while complaining he had been blindsided by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism of Mr Trump’s tariff threats at a summit-ending news conference.
As he flew from Canada to Singapore, Mr Trump displayed his ire via social media network Twitter.
The attack on a longtime ally and its leader drew sharp criticism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also attended the summit, said she found Mr Trump’s tweet disavowing the G-7 statement “sobering” and “a little depressing.” She also said the European Union would “act” against the US trade measures.
Earlier, the White House escalated the initial tirade and levelled more withering and unprecedented criticism against Mr Trudeau, branding him a backstabber unworthy of Mr 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,” Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview on Sunday in the US.
Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said her country “does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks”.
Mr Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow also suggested Mr Trump saw Mr Trudeau as trying to weaken his hand, saying the President wouldn’t “let a Canadian prime minister push him around. … Kim must not see American weakness”.
Mr Kudlow was referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Mr Trump will meet for the first time this morning in a one-on-one session with translators.
A US official said yesterday that the leaders would meet for up to two hours before an expanded bilateral meeting took place with their respective advisers.
Officials remain uncertain what will come out of today’s unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea.
THERE’S A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL FOR ANY FOREIGN LEADER THAT ENGAGES IN BAD FAITH DIPLOMACY WITH TRUMP SPOKESMAN FOR DONALD TRUMP