President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, on Sunday charged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the “betrayal” of Trump and other leaders of the Group of Seven industrial nations following their summit in Quebec. Kudlow’s remarks followed a Twitter attack on Trudeau by Trump, as well as Trump’s decision to withdraw from a joint communique that he had endorsed only hours earlier.
Trump was miffed by comments Trudeau made Saturday during a news conference. Trudeau criticized tariffs imposed by Trump and said: “Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”
Those were fighting words for Trump, who accused Trudeau of “false statements” and of being “very dishonest & weak.”
“He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to Trudeau. He described Trudeau’s news conference as “sophomoric” and a “political stunt.”
“It’s a betrayal. It’s essentially double-crossing. Not just double-crossing President Trump, but other members of the G-7,” Kudlow said.
But Trump’s combative words at the end of G7 summit is political posturing in advance of the historic summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kudlow admitted under questioning by CNN host Jake Tapper.
“POTUS is not gonna let a Canadian prime minister push him around,” Kudlow said. “He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip.”
Tapper picked up on the implication and said this was about North Korea.
“Of course it was, in large part,” Kudlow said. “Kim must not see American weakness.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Joel Achenbach, Paige Winfield Cunningham