President Donald Trump left the G-7 summit early to go to Singapore but he still managed to turn the proceedings into a chaotic mess without his presence with a pair of tweets that insulted the leader of one of the strongest U.S. allies and said his administration would not endorse the final statement of the two-day meeting. Trump tweeted aboard Air Force One that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “dishonest & weak” and that his administration would look at imposing tariffs on cars that are “flooding the U.S. market.”
Trump’s outburst came shortly after Trudeau said he was opposed to Washington’s trade policies and vowed to retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. “As Canadians, we are polite, we’re reasonable, but also we will not be pushed around,” Trudeau said.
“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 his first tweet. Shortly thereafter he wrote another tweet essentially calling Trudeau two-faced, saying he “acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings” and then criticized the United States after Trump left.
With the two tweets Trump undid days of careful negotiations as officials worked to ensure all members of the G-7 would sign the final communiqué despite the evident tensions. Mere moments before Trump’s extraordinary tweets, Canada’s government had released the joint statement saying it had been agreed to by all members of the G-7.
The commander in chief’s tweets came shortly after he sought to downplay reports of tensions in G-7 meetings as global leaders became frustrated at Trump’s insistence of pushing his America First policy during negotiations. His tweets are only set to accelerate the split between the United States and its G-7 allies that had already had seemed clear after the two-day summit. But the move could also prove to “be a political winner,” notes Politico, pointing out that the president’s base is not a fan of international cooperation.
A spokesman for Trudeau released a statement that didn’t mention Trump’s insults, only saying that the focus for now is on “everything we accomplished here at the #G7 summit,” while noting that Trudeau “said nothing he hasn’t said before — both in public, and in private conversations with the President.”