Hours After Praising A Brutal Dictator, Trump Attacked Justin Trudeau Again

Trump spent much of Tuesday praising a dictator who has murdered and imprisoned millions of people. Then he returned to attacking the democratically elected leader of one of our closest allies.

Even while he was wrapping up his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Trump could not resist unleashing yet another attack against America’s neighbor to the north:

President Trump reprised his criticism of Canada’s prime minister here Tuesday, threatening that Justin Trudeau’s tough exchanges with him over trade policy would “cost a lot of money for the people of Canada.”

Trump said he departed the Group of Seven summit that Trudeau hosted in Quebec late last week on “very friendly” terms with his six counterparts, including the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.

“When I got on to the plane, I think that Justin probably didn’t know that Air Force One has about 20 televisions,” Trump said. “And I see the television, and he’s giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States. I say, push them around? We just shook hands. It was very friendly.”

Trump said he was retaliating against Canada with countervailing tariffs, saying of Trudeau: “He learned that’s going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned.”

Trump made his comments in a wide-ranging news conference in Singapore following his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump was asked about the contrast between the respect he accorded Kim here Tuesday and the hostility he showed Trudeau in recent days, and what he would say to those who worry he is treating America’s longtime friends, such as Canada, as enemies and its longtime enemies, such as North Korea, as friends.

“I think it’s a very fair question,” Trump said. “I had a very good meeting with the G-7. And I left the meeting, and I’ll be honest, we’re being taken advantage of by virtually every one of those countries very seriously.”

The truth, of course, could not be further from Trump’s version of it. In reality, the United States has long-standing and very beneficial trade relations with Europe, Japan, and Canada and that international trade from these countries, and indeed from around the world, has inured to the benefit of the United States for generations now. Rather than acknowledge that, though, this President insists on listening to the false rhetoric of protectionism being whispered in his ear by Peter Navarro and others in his Administration and on pandering to an ill-informed base that views international trade as something that damaging to the American economy. More importantly, he ignores the relationship that the United States has had with Canada for decades now, a relationship, that as I argued on Monday, has benefited the American and Canadian people in innumerable ways. Most particularly, there’s the fact that the American and Canadian economies were intertwined even before the North American Free Trade Agreement was adopted, particular in reference to the defense industry (something that makes the President’s invocation of “national security” in connection with his extension of aluminum and steel tariffs to cover Canada particularly absurd.)

What’s perhaps even more ironic, or perhaps insulting is the better word for it, is the fact that Trump continued to unleash idiotic criticism against the Head of Government of one of America’s closest and most reliable allies just hours after meeting with the leader of one of the most repressive regimes on the planet and treating him a cordial and some would say even obsequious manner. For example, at the same press conference where he continued his unhinged attack on Prime Minister Trudeau, Trump said that Kim Jong Un was a funny guy who “loves his people.” This is the same Kim Jong Un, of course, who presides over a regime that has held the North Korean people in virtual slavery for the past seventy years, has locked people into concentration camps. When reminded that this is the same person who has locked people away in concentration camps and murdered political dissidents, Trump said that Kim was “tough” and “smart” and essentially dismissed the fact that he had shook hands with a man who the blood of his people on his hands, including the blood of Otto Warmbier, whose torture-induced death he bizarrely claimed led to his Photo Op Summit. While this is consistent with Trump’s admiration for other dictators such as President al-Sisi in Eqypt, the Saud family in Saudi Arabia, President Rodrigo Dueterte of The Philippines, Xi Jinping, and, of course, Vladimir Putin.

If a Democratic President had done what Trump did, Republicans would be attacking him mercilessly, and deservedly so. In Trump’s case, and with a only a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is as silent as it has always been in the face of Trump’s behavior and statements. At some point, they are going to be called to answer for all of this.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    At some point, they are going to be called to answer for all of this.

    By who? Certainly not by the MAGA mouth breathers…there’s going to come a point when Republicans are going to have to make a choice and take a stand…the longer they are connected to the Orange Toddler, the more they are getting stained by his filth…

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Let’s just state, again, that this is all based on a lie.
    Dennison’s own administration says that the US has a trade SURPLUS with Canada.
    Also, the dairy tariffs that Dennison has been whining about were addressed in the TPP…which Dennison himself backed out of.
    So if all that is just fiction, what is this all about?
    My guess is that it’s just a thin-skinned immature man-child with a bad comb-over, fake tan, and fake teeth, trying to look tough for his sycophants. I’m sure Bunge is touching himself inappropriately.

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  3. Pete S says:

    Trump has been increasingly grumpy towards us in Canada since the Trump Tower in Toronto very publicly lost the Trump part of the name last summer. I assume he views this as kind of an un-bribe.

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  4. teve tory says:

    If a Democratic President had done what Trump did, Republicans would be attacking him mercilessly, and deservedly so. In Trump’s case, and with a only a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is as silent as it has always been in the face of Trump’s behavior and statements. At some point, they are going to be called to answer for all of this.

    When Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand the Conservatard Entertainment Complex attacked the shit out of him, Hannity especially. One tweeter–I wish I could remember who–even tweeted something to the effect of ‘Whose hand is Obama going to shake next? Kim Un Jongs??’

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  5. Kathy says:

    Foreign policy always has, and unfortunately always will, entail making nice with dictators, brutal and moderate both, in diplomatic exchanges.

    Back in the 80s, a major complaint against the US in Latin America was its support for dictators and authoritarian leaders, usually brutal ones, in Central America, Chile, etc. I know much of this resentment was stirred up by other dictators, like Castro and Ortega. But one doesn’t have to love Castro to oppose Pinochet.

    One can also name several dictators in Asia and the Middle East America supported over the years, in places like the Philippines, Pakistan, South Korea, and don’t forget South Vietnam.

    But these were authoritarian rulers rather than totalitarian, and they would not have matched the Kim monarchy in brutality if they tried. Also, in the past, the US did not mistreat their allies even as it propped up Pinochet, Marcos and others.

    So, yes, one must treat civilly with dictators, even brutal ones. And just about every American president this century has done so. It’s one thing to deal with them, it’s another to heap praise on them while abusing one’s allies. The dictators don’t have to pay you back, and your erstwhile allies just might decide to.

    You really need a check on this madman of a Trump. Soon.

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  6. James Pearce says:

    If a Democratic President had done what Trump did, Republicans would be attacking him mercilessly, and deservedly so.

    What’s stopping the Democrats from attacking Trump mercilessly on this, well, other than their “when they go low, we go high” self-righteousness?

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  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    What’s stopping the Democrats from attacking Trump mercilessly on this

    The fact that Democrats are the minority party renders their attacks toothless.
    As Corker said this morning, the Republicanists are in a cult-like situation in their refusal to stand up to Dennison. They have chosen hypocrisy over principle, party over country. Deplorable, it is.

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  8. al Ameda says:

    @James Pearce:

    What’s stopping the Democrats from attacking Trump mercilessly on this, well, other than their “when they go low, we go high” self-righteousness?

    Well, except for the fact that as soon as Democrats ‘go low’ and attack mercilessly many people feign outrage over the fact that Democrats ‘went low’ and attacked mercilessly – except for that, nothing.

    I think the current rule is that only Republicans can go low’ and attack mercilessly.

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  9. george says:

    @Kathy:

    So, yes, one must treat civilly with dictators, even brutal ones. And just about every American president this century has done so. It’s one thing to deal with them, it’s another to heap praise on them while abusing one’s allies.

    Sums it up perfectly.

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  10. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The fact that Democrats are the minority party renders their attacks toothless.

    The Dems are a minority party, yes, that’s true, but they’re not powerless.

    (This is one of the tragedies of our age: A major political party has convinced their constituents that they are actually powerless instead of just weak.)

    @al Ameda:

    as soon as Democrats ‘go low’ and attack mercilessly many people feign outrage over the fact that Democrats ‘went low’ and attacked mercilessly

    Yeah…..so? Feigned outrage isn’t that hard to deal with.

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  11. Mister Bluster says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:..I’m sure Bunge is touching himself inappropriately.

    Yeah. He’s reaching into the back pocket of his pants so he can scratch his brains!

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  12. Woody Adamz says:

    The Trumpassaur is an actual REAL…..threat and danger to sane life.He’s bringing as much damage as possible as fast as possible and, it’s to all of Life,the water &air suffer mist and quietist and our international relations are a snowball from hell…In faxt ..isn’t that where Trump’s from…. Beelzebub …?..or,nyst maybe…..The Antichrist himself…..Better tames off the shades brah..!

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  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:
    The Dems are a minority party, yes, that’s true, but they’re not powerless.
    Classic Pearce…full of criticism, and void of solutions.

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  14. al Ameda says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yeah…..so? Feigned outrage isn’t that hard to deal with.

    I can tell you, I have no problem with taking a “they go low, we go as low as it takes to smash these maggot leftovers” approach.

    Democrats have been passive bystanders while McConnell and Trump have been stealing their lunch money.

    Remember that Clinton/Trump debate where Trump was stalking her while she was speaking, pacing back and forth, glaring at her? She should have paused and said something like, “do you need a bathroom break, or are you going to crap in your pants right now?”

    It’s time to be tough, and not worry that some Jill Stein supporter is upset and appalled that you didn’t address solar tax credits and instead asked Trump if he was going to crap in his pants. Slug it out with these shameless maggots.

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