In his new book, former White House official John Bolton alleges that President Donald Trump dislikes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and once even instructed his staff to attack him on television, as reported by CBC News.
The former U.S. national security advisor details the tension between the two leaders in his anticipated memoir, The Room Where It Happened, which is set to be released on June 23.
“Trump didn’t really like either Macron or Trudeau,” Bolton writes, referring to the leaders of France and Canada. “But he tolerated them, mockingly crossing swords with them in meetings, kidding on the straight.”
“I assume they understood what he was doing, and they responded in kind, playing along because it suited their interests not to be in a permanent tiff with the U.S. president.”
Bolton provides unparalleled insight into the G7 meeting that took place in Quebec on June 8-9 2018, in which tensions between the leaders notoriously ran high.
He recalls walking into the meeting, detailing how Macron and Trudeau were pressuring a tired Trump to accept policy provisions he clearly disagreed with.
Bolton also notes that — in his opinion — Trump was unprepared for the G7 meeting and didn’t understand the issues being discussed.
And the tension didn’t end there.
Bolton describes how Trump later became furious on a flight to Asia to meet with the leader of North Korea, having discovered that Trudeau had once again complained about the U.S. tariffs at a news conference.
Trump responded by sending a flurry of furious tweets withdrawing support for the G7 communiqué, as well as blatantly criticizing Trudeau for being “dishonest” and “weak.”
According to Bolton, Trump woke up Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “throw a fit” over the incident.
Bolton then alleges that Trump asked White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and fellow White House aide Peter Navarro to attack Trudeau on television.
“Trump’s direction [to Kudlow] was clear: Just go after Trudeau. Don’t knock the others. Trudeau’s a ‘behind your back guy,'” Bolton writes.
Navarro subsequently did criticize Trudeau, famously saying on Fox News that there’s “a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump.”
On the same day, Kudlow said on television that Trudeau “stabbed” the U.S. in the back.
Trump and Trudeau’s relationship has been a roller coaster over the past few years, oscillating between what seems to be a reluctant understanding and thinly-veiled dislike.
After the conference, the relationship seemed to sour. Early December 2019 proved especially rocky after Trudeau was caught on camera bashing Trump with several foreign leaders. Trump immediately fired back at Trudeau by calling the Prime Minister “two-faced” on live television.
The U.S. President also took issue with Canadian broadcasting companies removing his cameo in Home Alone 2.
Mostly recently, when Trudeau was asked to comment on the U.S. President’s decision to teargas protestors in early June, he famously took 21 seconds before responding.
Trudeau did not, however, directly criticize Trump.
“We all watch in horror and consternation at what’s going on in the United States,” Trudeau said in response. “It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen. It is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades.”
Trudeau has not yet commented on Bolton’s allegations.