This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
It was always only a matter of time before Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau publicly feuded but oh boy, I don’t think anyone thought it would be so spectacular—and so personal.
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter this weekend to bash Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the G7 summit, accusing him of being “dishonest” and “weak.”
Why you ask?
For those of you lucky enough to have avoided Twitter/the news/your talk radio-loving uncle over the past week, this is all over a trade dispute. The US slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and Canada responded by hitting the US where it hurts—bourbon and beer kegs and toilet paper. (Yes, Trump is making it more expensive for Canadians to drink and shit.
It all made for an exciting G7 meeting this past weekend, where roughly half of the world leaders involved are feuding with Trump, with Trudeau forced to play the part of welcoming host. It paid immediate dividends with a delightful video of Trump and Trudeau being forced to play nice and smile, like divorced parents at their kid’s wedding.
But by Sunday, Trump had managed to unite virtually every Canadian politician in outrage, including the likes of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and presumed Albertan premier-in-waiting Jason Kenney. Even former prime minister Stephen Harper appeared on Fox News to say Trump has the “wrong target.” (OK, he also had a book to plug.)
So, who’s winning? Let’s rank the five best shots taken over the weekend.
5. Justin Trudeau
When you base your entire political brand on being a people pleaser who loves to take the higher ground, it’s a little bit hard to get in the mud with the rest of us. So, it’s no surprise that Trudeau rolls in at number five, saying Canada won’t be pushed around and we’re “insulted” by Trump claiming the tariffs on national security grounds.
Mr. Trudeau, you had your chance for your Love Actually moment, and you proved you are no Prime Minister David. (Seriously, they didn’t give the British PM a last name in that movie?)
But J. Truds did have one solid victory worthy of the gravity of this situation. He’s taller!
As pointed out by the Daily Mail, photographs over the weekend show Trudeau clearly standing taller than Trump, even though the US president is listed at 6’3 vs. Trudeau’s 6’2. Could this possibly mean that the “healthiest president ever” is not giving us proper health information? It makes you think!
4. Donald Trump
OK, credit where credit is due. Trump hit Trudeau where it really hurt, basically calling him the Canadian Clark Kent. (I’m guessing he’s never seen this picture, however.)
“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” Trump tweeted from Air Force One after he left the G7 summit.
This, in many ways, is a Canadian’s worst nightmare since we spend half of our time bending over backward trying to be polite and the other half of the time wondering if people are mistaking our politeness for weakness. A broken clock is right twice a day, and Trump plunged a dagger into the heart of the Canadian psyche. Well played, sir.
No US president has been this vicious to a Canadian PM since Lyndon Johnson grabbed Lester Pearson by the collar and screamed: “You pissed on my rug!” (You can google that yourself.)
3. Donald Trump’s trade advisor
One of the best parts of any insult war is when a third party escalates the situation. (On the schoolyard, this is where a tertiary bully jumps in with a “your mama” joke.) Anyway, in case you needed reminding, it’s not like Trump has surrounded himself with a bunch of even-keeled political aides trained in the fine arts of quiet diplomacy.
Instead, he has people like trade advisor Peter Navarro.
"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 told Fox News on Sunday. “And that's what bad faith [what] Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That's what weak, dishonest... and that comes right from Air Force One.”
OK, there are a few things to unpack here.
Obviously, Navarro is suggesting that Trudeau belongs in the eighth circle of hell, where all the fraudsters go after they die, according to Dante. Now, as Navarro clearly knows, the eighth circle of hell is subdivided into ten bolgias, in which there are several that Trudeau could land in. In bolgia number two, we have flatterers. That maybe could be it—he is a bit of a kiss ass—but I don’t think that was Navarro’s intent. Instead, I believe he was referring to bolgia number seven, where you find hypocrites. By coincidence, bolgia number eight is where evil advisors go when they die and bolgia number nine is where “divisive individuals” go. Anyway, it all sounds like Florida to me, hot and full of retired accountants.
2. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland
On CNN Sunday night, Freeland practically dropped a flaming shitbag on the White House doorstep by suggesting Canada is in the right because they are using “fact-based arguments” and Trump is using “ad hominem attacks.”
She also took a volley at Navarro by saying she’s happy she’s “not responsible for explaining the reasoning behind any comments made by the officials of any foreign government."
1. This photograph shot by a German staffer
Could there really be anything other than this picture? People have (lazily) compared it to a Renaissance painting when it really is a weaponized meme. Obviously, there are a dozen other angles of this photo to choose from, but this is the one everyone will remember: Angela Merkel standing over Donald Trump, who looks like a petulant child refusing to go potty.
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