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article imageTrump abruptly leaves NATO early after 'mocking' video emerges

By Karen Graham     Dec 4, 2019 in Politics
U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "two-faced" after a video went viral of the Canadian leader apparently speaking candidly to other world leaders about Trump. The video has been viewed over 9 million times.
Trump's response to a video that appears to show Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mocking Trump while speaking to other world leaders, although his name is never mentioned, has lashed back, calling Trudeau "two-faced."
Trump's comments came after a tense meeting with Trudeau on Tuesday where Trump needled Trudeau over the country's defense spending. "Where are you at? What is your number?" Trump asked Trudeau during their meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit outside London.
The president could not let it go, speculating that Trudeau was gossiping because Canada had failed to meet its recommended NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product.
"Trudeau, he's a nice guy. I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he's not paying 2 percent, and I guess he's not very happy about it. I mean, you were there. A couple of you were there," Trump told reporters, according to CTV News Canada.
"He should be paying more than he's paying. And he understands it. So I can imagine he's not that happy. But that's the way it is." Canada, a NATO member spends about 1.4 percent of its gross national product on defense. Trump and other past U.S. presidents have urged NATO member states to spend at least 2 percent.
So far, seven of the 29 NATO member states have reached that goal for the alliance that was set up during the Cold War to protect Western Europe from Russian and Eastern bloc aggression, reports NPR.
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The "hot-mic video"
The video was shot at a reception late Tuesday evening at Buckingham Palace. In it, Trudeau is speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Princess Anne, daughter of the Queen.
Johnson asks Macron why he was late getting to the reception. Trudeau quips, "he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top." Trudeau is later heard saying: "You just watch his team's jaws drop to the floor." The thing to note here is that Trump is never mentioned by name.
The Washington Post provides some possible context, reporting, "Over the course of three one-on-one meetings with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Macron, and Trudeau, Trump turned what was expected to be brief photo opportunities into his own personal daytime cable show," which lasted two hours.
Macron also appears to be speaking animatedly in the video. At one point, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte laughs at the phrase "fake news media"— although Macron has his back to the camera and his words weren't captured, per the Guardian.
To put the video in context, on Wednesday, - when asked about his remarks, Trudeau reportedly said that it was Trump’s surprise announcement of the location for next year’s Group of Seven summit that made “his team’s jaws drop to the floor," reports CNBC News.
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