Trump advisers' attacks on Trudeau spark backlash

Several U.S. and foreign leaders on Sunday leapt to the defense of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he was assailed on Sunday morning talk shows by two of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE's top advisers.

Both White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, blasted the Canadian leader, sparking criticism from leaders at home and abroad. Politicians focused in particular on comments from Navarro, who laid into Trudeau on "Fox News Sunday" for his pledge to implement retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door," Navarro said.


"That was one of the worst political miscalculations of a Canadian leader in modern Canadian history," he added.

Trudeau has not directly addressed Navarro's comments, but Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the remarks were not "particularly appropriate or useful."

"Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries,” Freeland said at a press conference Sunday.

Navarro was referencing a news conference held after Trump had departed the Group of Seven (G-7) summit ahead of schedule. In the conference, Trudeau said it was "kind of insulting" that the U.S. implemented steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada on the basis of national security. He pledged to impose retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., adding Canada "will not be pushed around."

Trudeau's comments drew the ire of Trump, who called Trudeau "dishonest & weak" and declined to sign onto a joint statement issued by G-7 attendees at the conclusion of the weekend's summit.

On Sunday morning, Navarro and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow torched Trudeau, underscoring a growing rift between the U.S. and one of its closest allies over trade policy.

In response, U.S. and foreign officials, including multiple vocal critics of Trump, honed in on Navarro's remarks.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump boosts McSally, bashes Sinema in Arizona Watch live: Trump speaks at Arizona rally Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi disappearance MORE (R-Ariz.), a frequent critic of the president, condemned Navarro's comments as a reflection on the GOP, saying "this is not who we are. This cannot be our party."

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE (D-Conn.) blasted the Trump administration, suggesting their attacks on Trudeau were based on a lie.

"Trudeau didn’t pick a fight. This is a lie just like all the others," Murphy tweeted. "Trump is making the United States a global laughingstock, drying up our credibility/influence so badly that the next President can’t get it back."

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashWatchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat Cook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems Rand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump MORE (R-Mich.) tweeted Sunday night that "Canadians are our brothers and sisters. Whatever our differences, let’s work them out as a family—with honesty and candor but also with love, respect, and humility."

Susan Rice, a former national security adviser and United Nations ambassador for the Obama administration, suggested Navarro was looking to spark a war with Canada.

"So since Navarro has failed in his longstanding ambition to start a war with China, now he wants to start one with Canada?" Rice tweeted. 

Foreign leaders also took notice of Navarro's comments, and were quick to defend Trudeau.

European Council President Donald Tusk took a thinly veiled shot at the trade adviser, writing that there's a "special place in heaven" for Trudeau.

"There is a special place in heaven for @JustinTrudeau. Canada, thank you for the perfect organisation of G7!" Tusk tweeted.

Like Canada, the European Union has also vowed retaliatory tariffs in response to Trump's trade policies.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has been an unabashed critic of Trump, offered support to Trudeau.

"We both neighbors and partners totally disagree with @POTUS he doesn't represent founding father's dream or the real values and believes of that great nation," he wrote.

Not all lawmakers disagreed with the White House in assigning blame to Trudeau. Among them was Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), who warned that Trudeau was "sabotaging" trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada.

"While I have serious concerns about President Trump’s approach to trade talks with Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau has placed our trade relationship with Canada at risk by publicly feuding with President Trump on the world stage," Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.

Updated: 9:07 p.m.