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Trump adviser apologizes for comments attacking Canada’s Trudeau

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 13/06/2018 Jeff Stein
Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump are posing for a picture © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologized Tuesday for comments attacking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the foreign leader publicly disagreed with President Trump.

“My mission was to send a very strong signal of strength,” Navarro, one of Trump's top economic advisers, said at the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network conference. “The problem was 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.”

Navarro had criticized Trudeau harshly this weekend in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” employing rhetoric typically reserved for foreign adversaries to describe the leader of one of the United States' closest allies.

“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. “And that’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”

Trudeau and Trump clashed Saturday at the close of a meeting of the Group of Seven industrial countries. As Trump left the meeting, he accused other countries — including Canada and the European Union — of taking advantage of the United States with unfair trade rules.

Later, Trudeau repeated previous criticisms he had made of Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Trudeau particularly objected to the Trump administration's decision to cite national security in imposing the tariffs, which the Canadian leader said was “kind of insulting” to Canadians who had fought alongside U.S. forces in foreign wars. Trudeau also reiterated Canada's plan to respond with equal tariffs unless Trump lifted his.

Trump responded furiously, accusing Trudeau of being “weak” and “dishonest” in a Twitter post and withdrawing U.S. support for the joint G-7 statement his administration had agreed to hours earlier.

“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” Trump wrote in another post on Twitter.

He did not specify which of Trudeau's statements he considered false.

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