Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks smack about Donald Trump. Screenshot via CBC
We’ve all been there. Well, I have at least.Maybe the drinks are flowing at a Christmas party and you whisper “I don’t like her” not realizing that you’re not whispering and “her” is right behind you; maybe you accidentally copy and paste the Slack conversation about your annoying coworker to said coworker; or maybe you’re the prime minister of Canada and you’re being filmed secretly talking shit about the president of the United States.
All of these scenarios are true, but the latter is most prescient.While at a reception for a NATO summit at Buckingham Palace Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were caught gossiping about Trump and his antics.
A video clip posted by CBC showed Johnson giggling while he asked Macron, “Is that why you were late?” Trudeau interjected, “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.” Mocking an ill-timed presser counts as a zinger in the sad world of geo-politics.For context, Trump held a rambly press conference in London Tuesday, during which the US president described Macron’s comments about NATO as “nasty” and complained about the so-called “impeachment hoax.”But back to the gossip sesh. “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,” Trudeau carried on excitedly. He seemed giddy from the sweet rush that you can only get when you’re talking trash and everyone’s eyes are on you.“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” Trudeau continued, using his hands to imitate jaws dropping to the floor. Macron’s back was to the camera so we can only guess what he was saying in response—but he did hand talk animatedly.Mocking hand gestures are pretty dang high on the ladder of disrespect, just below muting someone’s Instagram stories.Johnson, who is more or less the U.K.’s Trump, was sort of hanging around during the exchange, like the third, less popular mean girl whose main purpose is to bolster the numbers. (For reference, he’s Gretchen.)
Not to be outdone, Trump reacted by cancelling a press conference he had scheduled for Wednesday and leaving the NATO festivities early. He also called Trudeau “two-faced,” which is at least a step up from blackface.Trump suggested that the pm is cranky about being called out for Canada’s defence spending being less than 2 percent of GDP. (Ouch, the sting!)“I'm representing the U.S. and he should be paying more than he's paying, and he understands that," Trump said, according to CBS News. "So I can imagine he's not that happy, but that's the way it is."
But then, in an Inception-level show of pettiness, Trump was “busted” dissing Trudeau on his own hot mic.According to CNN journalist Besty Klein, Trump said, “Oh, and then you know what they'll say. He didn't do a press conference. He didn't do a press conference. That was funny when I said the guy's two-faced, you know that.”Just a totally real and authentic moment caught completely candidly that was in no way staged as a form of retaliation.Follow Manisha on Twitter