President Trump’s top economic adviser said on Sunday that Mr. Trump had pulled out of a joint statement with allies at the Group of 7 meeting over the weekend because a “betrayal” by the Canadian prime minister had threatened to make Mr. Trump appear weak before his summit meeting on Tuesday with North Korea’s leader.
The adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that Mr. Trump had no choice but to take the action after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference that Canada would not be pushed around by the United States on trade.
Mr. Trudeau “stabbed us in the back,” Mr. Kudlow said, by making his remarks after the president had already agreed to sign the joint statement and had left for his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
“We joined the communiqué in good faith,” Mr. Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “You just don’t behave that way, O.K.? It’s a betrayal.”
He added that Mr. Trump “had every right — every right — to push back on this amateurish Trudeau scheme.”
Mr. Trump “is not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around,” Mr. Kudlow said, adding, “He is not going to permit any show of weakness on a trip to negotiate with North Korea.”
On Saturday, Mr. Trudeau said Canada would retaliate against United States tariffs on steel and aluminum products. Mr. Trump apparently heard Mr. Trudeau’s comments while flying on Air Force One and quickly lashed out on Twitter.
“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” Mr. Trump wrote.
He added in another tweet that Mr. Trudeau was “very dishonest and weak.”
New York Times