Trump boasted to donors about making up facts during talks with Trudeau: report
President Trump said at a fundraising dinner that he made up facts during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Trump told those at the dinner that he insisted that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, but did not know if that was the case, according to leaked audio of the speech obtained by the Post.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy. Justin. He said ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump said. “Nice guy, good looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald we have no trade deficit.’”
“I said, ‘Wrong Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong Justin,’” Trump continued.
“He said, ‘Nope we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well in that case I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said ‘Check because I can’t believe it,’” he said.
“‘Well sir you’re actually right. We have no deficit but that doesn’t include energy and timber … And when you do we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that the United States does, in fact, have a trade surplus with Canada, according to the Post.
Trump also implied during the speech that he could pull U.S. troops stationed in South Korea if he didn’t strike a trade deal favorable to the U.S. with the country, the newspaper reported.
“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them. We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military,” Trump said. “We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”
The president has often railed against other countries over their trade deals, calling them unfair to the United States. He recently imposed massive tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a decision largely denounced overseas.
Trump was speaking at a fundraising dinner in Missouri for GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley, who is attempting to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).