President Donald Trump is reportedly not a fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even once told his staff to attack Trudeau during television interviews, according to White House official John Bolton’s new book.
Bolton’s memoir—The Room Where It Happened—will soon be released and covers the leaders’ interaction during Quebec’s G7 conference in 2018, reports CBC News.
Bolton, who previously held the position of White House national security advisor said Trump did not think highly of Trudeau or Emmanuel Macron—the president of France. The book talks about odd dynamics throughout their meetings.
"Trump didn't really like either Macron or Trudeau," Bolton recalls. "But he tolerated them, mockingly crossing swords with them in meetings, kidding on the straight.
There was a large amount of tension during the G7 meeting as it was during Trump’s move to add broad tariffs to aluminum and steel imports, including imports from Canada and other allied countries.
"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."
The White House belittled the book and so did its allies, calling it inaccurate or exaggerated.
During Boltons insider account of the G7 meeting, he describes that the leaders were having trouble closing out the meeting.
Bolton writes about being called into the meeting by John Kelly who was chief of staff at the time. Many problems began to arise during the meeting and Kelly said, “This is a disaster,” as he walked out of the meeting.
Bolton described that Trudeau and Macron were pushing policy provisions of Trump though he disagreed with them. He says it was evident that Trump had not come to the G7 meeting prepared and did not grasp the issues at hand.
When a deal was eventually reached, Bolton writes, “We were done with the G7, I thought.”
On a flight to Asia at a later time, Trump was on his way to meet with North Korea’s leader and he became furious after hearing that Trudeau complained about the tariffs again during the closing news conference.
Trump then began tweeting about withdrawing his G7 communiqué support. Bolton described the move as unprecedented.
Bolton then spoke with Larry Kudlow, the White House economic advisor, who was set to make an appearance on Sunday television talk shows.
"Trump's direction [to Kudlow] was clear: Just go after Trudeau. Don't knock the others. Trudeau's a 'behind your back guy,'" writes Bolton.
He says Trump wanted Kudlow to attack Trudeau with the help of White House aide Peter Navarro, who on TV said Trudeau had a “special place in hell” for his actions against Trump.
Tensions have been up and down between the leaders ever since the meeting.
The tariffs were eventually removed for Canada and Mexico. Kudlow also noted that he and Trudeau became more friendly with each other since the 2018 G20 meeting.