Early on Tuesday, President Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit north of London. Naturally, Trump did not stick to matters involving security in the north Atlantic, veering around to call Adam Schiff “deranged” and “a maniac,” hedge recent gubernatorial losses in Kentucky and Louisiana, and boast that “we’ve actually advanced very far on 5G.”
Later in the day, Trudeau — who has had a rough year of self-imposed condemnation — let off some steam with other leaders at the summit. In a video recorded at a reception at Buckingham Palace and published by the CBC, Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appear to make fun of President Trump and his tendency to ramble. (And to think, Trump had finally come around to the importance of NATO after Macron used a “toddler reverse-psychology trick” to fool him into supporting the organization, as New York’s Jonathan Chait points out.)
As the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman notes, the video would be especially infuriating to the president “both for the fact that POTUS hates the thought of anyone laughing at him and for the fact that he long used ‘other countries are laughing at us’ as an attack against his predecessors.” According to one count by the Washington Post, prior to becoming president, Trump said in some form that the world is laughing at the United States at least 103 times. As president, he’s living up to that campaign pledge: This is the second time Trump has been laughed at in a world forum, the first occurring after he made a bold claim in front of the U.N. in 2018.
Trump responded to Trudeau’s mocking Wednesday while speaking to the press with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Well, he’s two-faced,” Trump said. “And honestly with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy, but the truth is I called him out on the fact he’s not paying 2 percent and I guess he’s not very happy about it.”