The leak by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of a clip showing Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson caught on a hot mic appearing to ridicule President Trump at the NATO 70 year anniversary summit, appears to have made an already tense diplomatic situation, downright unbearable.
Shortly after Trump told reporters that Trudeau was "two-faced" in response to questions about the hot mic video, which reportedly was also a reference to the Canadian PM's "blackface" history, Trump tweeted that he won’t hold a scheduled news conference to conclude the NATO summit, noting that he’s spoken repeatedly to reporters at meetings with world leaders that past two days, and would leave the NATO summit early, heading to Washington at the end of the day's meetings.
Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before.
Just finished meetings with Turkey and Germany. Heading to a meeting now with those countries that have met their 2% GOALS, followed by meetings with Denmark and Italy.
When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!
Confirmed by @POTUS that the news conference in London is cancelled.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 4, 2019
Then Trump, never one to turn his back on criticism amicably, issued a thinly veiled threat to his NATO peers whom he has criticized of repeatedly underpaying, saying that if they refuse to pay their required quota, he would "get them on trade," hinting that the trade war may soon spread to even more NATO member nations:
- TRUMP: IF NATO COUNTRIES DON'T PAY `WE'LL GET THEM ON TRADE
So, as NYT reporter Katie Rogers, summarized: "This was a really unusual trip for Trump, who abided by Boris Johnson's wishes to not interfere in UK elections, got an earful from Macron, woke up to footage of close allies mocking him, and, on top of it all, decided not to get the final say with a presser."
This was a really unusual trip for Trump, who abided by Boris Johnson's wishes to not interfere in UK elections, got an earful from Macron, woke up to footage of close allies mocking him, and, on top of it all, decided not to get the final say with a presser.— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) December 4, 2019
And the day is not over yet.