Trump economic adviser: Trudeau ‘stabbed us in the back’
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tore into Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for “double crossing” President Trump with critical comments about U.S. trade policy.
“He was polarizing. He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Kudlow said in strikingly critical remarks during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“He did a great disservice to the whole [Group of Seven (G-7)],” he added.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 10, 2018
Kudlow specifically took issue with Trudeau’s comments at a post-summit press conference, and repeatedly called the Canadian’s actions a “betrayal.”
In a press conference after Trump departed for Singapore ahead of his Tuesday meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trudeau said Canada would move forward with retaliatory tariffs, saying Canada will “not be pushed around.”
In response, Trump attacked Trudeau on Twitter, calling him “dishonest & weak.”
Kudlow called Trudeau’s press conference a “sophomoric, political stunt for domestic consumption.”
“President Trump played that process in good faith. So, I ask you: He gets up in the airplane and leaves, and then Trudeau starts blasting him at a domestic news conference? I am sorry, that’s a betrayal. That’s a double cross.”
Kudlow indicated that Trudeau’s comments undermined the U.S. president ahead of his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which is set to take place Tuesday morning in Singapore.
“Kim must not see American weakness,” Kudlow said. “This is a case where Trudeau, it was like, I don’t know, pouring collateral damage on the whole Korean trip. That was a part of Trudeau’s mistake. Trudeau made an error. He should take it back. He should pull back on his statements, and wish President Trump well in the Korean negotiations.”
Kudlow doubled down on his comments, faulting Trudeau with putting Trump in a position of appearing “weak” ahead of talks with North Korea.
“I mean he can’t put Trump in a position of being weak going into the North Korean talks with Kim. He can’t do that,” Kudlow continued. “And by the way, President Trump is not weak. He will be very strong as he always is.“
The remarks from a top economic adviser to the president about a long-standing U.S. ally were deeply unusual, and underscored the growing divide between the United States and its northern neighbor.
The Trump administration has blamed Canada for Trump’s decision to not sign on to a communique at the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada, over the weekend.
The president prompted concerns of a trade war after doubling down on his decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Canada, Mexico and European countries have vowed to implement retaliatory tariffs.