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Trump's tweets undo weekend of G7 diplomacy — and baffle Canadian officials

Sunday - 10/06/2018 10:28
Trudeau said nothing Saturday he hasn't said before, his office says
 
The war of words on trade between U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appear to be far from over after this weekend's G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
The war of words on trade between U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appear to be far from over after this weekend's G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

It was an outburst that came out of the blue.

In the hours after Donald Trump launched a personal Twitter attack on Justin Trudeau from Air Force One, Canadian officials were at a loss to explain the U.S. president's anger over statements the prime minister made during his news conference to close the G7 summit.

Nothing Trudeau said was new. The Prime Minister's Office later made that point in a statement, adding that Trudeau had made those comments privately to Trump as well.

Trudeau had received polite applause from cabinet ministers and Canadian political staffers when he announced Saturday that the G7 countries had finalized a joint communiqué.

After a tough week and a challenging summit, it was a victory for Trudeau that the leaders had managed to find consensus language on the difficult issue of trade.

The fragile consensus lasted about two hours before it was nuked by a tweet, as Trump made his way to Singapore for the North Korea nuclear summit.

"Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the communiqué as we look at tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!," Trump tweeted.

Trump proceeded to blast Trudeau as "meek and mild" and "very dishonest and weak" in a barrage that was sparked by the prime minister's assertion that U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum were "insulting" and his insistence that Canada would not be pushed around.

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