President Trump decided to leave this week’s NATO summit early after Canadian President Justin Trudeau mocked him a conversation that was caught on tape.
The video, published by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, shows Trudeau speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and others.
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,” said Trudeau about an impromptu press conference held by Trump earlier that day.
“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” he added, referring to Trump’s unexpected announcement about next year’s G7 summit being held at Camp David in Maryland.
When asked about Trudeau’s comments, Trump called the Canadian President “two-faced” and said, “I find him to be a very nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2% and I guess he’s not very happy about it.”
Trump has long demanded all NATO members spend 2% of their GDP on defense.
“When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington,” tweeted Trump on Wednesday. “We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days.”
Despite Trudeau’s negative attitude, the 70th anniversary NATO meeting ended with the approval of a defense plan for the Baltics and Poland.
The defense plan is a “huge achievement not only for our country, but for the whole region,” said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. The plan was approved despite resistance from Turkey, which had asked other NATO members to designate Kurdish fighters in Syria as terrorists.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Macron accused of allying with ISIS to further his agenda in Syria, spoke with Trump on Wednesday but did not speak publicly during the summit. NATO members did not discuss the Kurdish YPG militia.
Overall, NATO members’ defense spending has increased by $130 billion since 2016. By the end of 2024, total defense spending is expected to reach $400 billion.
“This is unprecedented,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “And it’s making NATO stronger.”
Author’s Note: We can always expect some name-calling at these events, but the big picture here is that Trump has succeeded in forcing NATO members to start paying their fair share.