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White House takes up fight against 'back-stabbing' Trudeau

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right), meets with the prime minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, during a bilateral meeting as part of the G7 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press via AP)


Bashing the leader of one of America's venerable allies, the White House escalated its trade tirade and levelled more withering and unprecedented criticism Sunday against Canada's prime minister, branding Justin Trudeau a back-stabber unworthy of President Donald Trump's time.

"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," Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview nationally broadcast in the United States.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said her country "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks".

The verbal volleys by Navarro and Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, picked up where Trump left off Saturday evening with a series of tweets from Air Force One en route to Singapore for his nuclear summit tomorrow with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. Kudlow suggested Trump saw Trudeau as trying to weaken his hand before that meeting, saying the president won't "let a Canadian prime minister push him around ... . Kim must not see American weakness."

Just as the Trudeau-hosted Group of Seven meeting of the world's leading industrialised nations had seemed to weather Trump's threats of a trade war, the president backed out of the group's joint statement that Trudeau said all the leaders had come together to sign.