Peter Navarro, an adviser to President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE on trade, apologized Tuesday for saying there is a “special place in Hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or “any foreign leader” for crossing President Trump.
“My job was to send a signal of strength. The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate,” Navarro said, according to Bloomberg and other outlets.
“I own that, that was my mistake, my words,” Navarro said.
He issued his apology during remarks at a Wall Street Journal conference in Washington, D.C.
Navarro on his @JustinTrudeau comments: says his job last Sunday was to send a signal of strength. "In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message. I own that, that was my mistake, my words." #WSJCFO— CFO Journal (@CFOJournal) June 12, 2018
Navarro tore into Trudeau during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" hours after the Canadian prime minister said his country would implement retaliatory tariffs against the United States.
“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.”
A number of U.S. lawmakers and foreign officials also were quick to condemn Navarro's comments, including Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees Democrats threaten to play hardball over Cruz's blockade Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE (R-Ariz.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative Wicker: Biden comments on Ukraine caused 'distress' for both parties Biden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions MORE (D-Conn.) and European Council President Donald Tusk.
The spat between Trudeau and the White House has underscored a growing rift between the two allies over trade policy.
Trump said Canada would be subject to steel and aluminum tariffs, citing national security concerns in his justification for the penalties.
Trudeau responded that it was "insulting" that the U.S. viewed its neighbor to the north as a security threat. He added that Canada "will not be pushed around."
In response, Trump criticized Trudeau for being "dishonest & weak."
Following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the president doubled down on his attacks, saying Trudeau's remarks would "cost a lot of money for the people of Canada."