LONDON — The leaders of France, Canada and the U.K. appeared to be gossiping about President Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, according to video footage circulated of the event.
During the brief video, in which the world leaders don’t appear to realize their conversation is being recorded, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks French President Emmanuel Macron: “Is that why you were late?” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then steps in and says: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.”
It is not clear who Trudeau was referring to and none of people present — which also includes Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Princess Anne — mention Trump by name.
However, Trump’s remarks alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier on Tuesday lasted 53 minutes, according to a White House transcript, when the itinerary had suggested that it would last 20 minutes. The U.S. president was later involved in 38 minutes of remarks alongside Macron.
The footage also features a “jaws drop to the floor” sentence from the Canadian prime minster, potentially referring to a team of officials who work in close contact with a world leader. But the words do not appear to be a continuation of Trudeau’s previous comments.
Spokespersons for Johnson and Macron’s offices have both declined to comment on the video. A spokesperson for Trudeau’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Trump responded to the comments when asked about the video footage by a journalist on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s two-faced,” he said at a press conference while sitting next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I find him to be a very nice guy but the truth is I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2% (on Canada’s defense budget) and I guess he’s not very happy about it.”
“He’s not paying 2% and he should be paying 2%. It’s Canada, they have money and they should be paying 2%. So I called him out on that and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it but that’s the way it is.”
Leaders of NATO countries are in the U.K. to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance and met the British queen and her family at an evening event on Tuesday. But the celebrations come against a backdrop of division between members on its future direction.
During a press conference Tuesday, Macron and Trump expressed differing views over topics like Turkey, Islamic State fighters and the overall role of the transatlantic institution. During the morning session, Trump strongly denounced comments the French president made earlier this year on NATO.
Macron told The Economist publication in October that the military alliance was experiencing “brain death.” The American leader hit back, saying he could see France “breaking off” from NATO and said Macron’s comments had been “very, very nasty” to the 28 other member states.
SOURCE : https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/04/nato-summit-trudeau-macron-johnson-appear-to-joke-about-trump.html