Even at the highest level, there is a solid pot of gossip. During a reception in Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the NATO summit, some world leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, and Boris Johnson seemed to be happy about the activities of an ‘unorthodox’ to Donald Trump last night. He responded this afternoon by saying that he had publicly tapped Trudeau on the fingers, something that the Canadian “wasn’t happy with”. He canceled his planned press conference this afternoon: Trump leaves for Washington earlier than expected.
The world leaders are currently in London for a NATO summit. The military organization has been in existence for seventy years. Yesterday evening there was a reception at Buckingham Palace on the program. There was a lot of interest during the subsequent reception.
A video – published by the Canadian channel CBC – shows how the prime ministers of Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the French president (and the British princess Anne) have a chat and make fun of another leader. And even though his name is not explicitly mentioned, they still seem to be talking about Donald Trump.
They are happy about the press conference that the US president held during the first day of the NATO summit.
Trump spoke with journalists for a very long time, much to the surprise of the other world leaders. “Is that why you were late,” you hear Johnson say to Macron. To which Trudeau replies: “It was a press conference of forty minutes … yes yes, forty minutes”.
The company starts to laugh at that, but the reply of the French president is not well heard. The Dutch Prime Minister, Rutte, then jokingly says, according to the NOS: “Fake news media”.
“I saw his team, they were stunned, their mouths fell open,” Trudeau says.
Trump reacted this afternoon after the NATO summit that Trudeau had gossiping about him because he was not happy with how he had approached him about the Canadian NATO contribution. “He is hypocritical”, Trump says about Trudeau. “I think he’s a very nice guy, but the truth is that I have publicly criticized him for not paying 2 percent (of GDP, ed.). I could see he wasn’t very happy about that.” Trump then announced that he would cancel his planned press conference this afternoon. He explained that he has given “so many” press conferences over the past few days.
“Inevitably you’ll gossip a little.”
British Prime Minister Johnson, for his part, denied at his press conference that he and the other leaders were laughing at Trump. “Complete nonsense”, says the Brit. What Johnson and his colleagues did talk about, Johnson says he can’t remember exactly. Rutte didn’t want to put too many words into it either. “We’ve been at receptions for hours, so you’ll inevitably gossip a little now and then. What has been discussed is confidential. But it wasn’t about anything. These are democracies. The big difference between democracies and totalitarian countries is that we are discussing.”
Trudeau admits that he was referring to the Trump team with his remark, but says that he is satisfied with his meeting. “The president and I had a very good meeting yesterday. Yesterday I referred to the fact that an unplanned press conference was taking place for my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it, but it was certainly striking”, he answered when he apologized to Trump for his remark.
“We were all surprised, and I am happy to hear that the next G7 will take place at Camp David. I think that was an unplanned announcement… I think that every leader has a team that is sometimes frightened by unplanned surprises, such as that video,” he explained.
The US president was yesterday put on the defensive by Macron about his attitude to the military conflict in Syria and the Turkish offensive. The French president maintained that NATO is brain dead. Trump said Macron’s statement earlier in the day was insulting. “Totally incomparable to when I called NATO obsolete,” he later said on Twitter.
In the clinch with each other
Both leaders clashed with each other at a joint press conference following a question from an American journalist about whether France should do more to take back IS fighters from the Middle East. “Do you want a few nice IS fighters? I could give them to you”, Trump turned to Macron.
“It is true that IS fighters come from Europe, but this is only a small part of the total problem,” Macron replied visibly irritated. Macron also said that the fight against IS must remain the priority. “This is why he is a great politician, because that was one of the biggest non-answers I’ve ever heard, and that’s OK,” Trump said.