An angry president Trump erupted at Bloomberg News on Twitter for "blatantly violating" an off the record agreement involving his comments about Canada during an extensive Oval Office interview conducted on Thursday afternoon, in the process admitting he had indeed made the "insulting" remarks, published earlier by the Toronto Star, and which have allegedly jeopardized the Nafta negotiations.
"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it," Trump tweeted.
Trump ended by noting that "at least Canada knows where I stand!"
Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2018
It does indeed. As a reminder, earlier we noted that according to the Toronto Star, which first published Trump's "off the record" commentary, that the negotiations between Canada and the U.S. "were dramatically upended on Friday morning by inflammatory secret remarks from President Donald Trump, after the remarks were obtained by the Toronto Star."
In remarks Trump wanted to be “off the record,” Trump told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday, according to a source, that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”
“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal...I can’t kill these people,” he said of the Canadian government.
In another remark he did not want published, Trump said, according to the source, that the possible deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” He suggested he was scaring the Canadians into submission by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs.
“Off the record, Canada’s working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala,” Trump said, according to the source. The Impala is produced at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario.
It was not clear why Bloomberg would disclose the off the record comment, or if indeed it was indeed Bloomberg; some have suggested that it was the White House itself that leaked the inflammatory commentary with hopes of scuttling the last minute Nafta negotiations. That said, it is not clear if Trump's comment will indeed be a dealbreaker, although with just a few hours left until today's deadline to get a deal done, every passing hour makes an agreement increasingly unlikely.