Trudeau's "gaffe" with Trump could help him in Canada: expert

Elianna Lev

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is featured prominently in current international news cycles, after U.S. President Donald Trump called him two-faced during a joint press conference.

The confrontation comes after video released from Buckingham Palace Tuesday, which caught British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau speaking about an unnamed person. Johnson asks Macron why he was late, to which Trudeau responds: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.” Trudeau also speaks of “his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” though the subject isn’t named.

The footage has led many news outlets to report that the heads of state were openly gossiping about Trump.

The leaders of NATO’s 29 countries are gathering in London this week to honor the 70th anniversary of the military alliance.

While the bad blood may lead some to think this will inevitably turn into a political fallout, one expert doesn’t think so.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, says the debacle will be good for Trudeau’s profile, which Trump has attacked before.

“In Canada, people have such a low estimation of Trump that he elicits sympathy to whoever he attacks,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “People don’t take what Trump says seriously because he’s always reversing what he says.”

At the same press conference, Trump also referred to Trudeau as “a nice guy."

To that point, Trudeau explained to a press conference on Wednesday that he and Trump still have a good relationship.

“Every different leader has teams who, every now and then, have their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises -- like that video itself, for example,” Trudeau said.

Wiseman points out that Trump attacked NATO a few years ago, suggesting that the U.S. would pull out. It’s a contrast to Trump’s more recent attack on Macron for not showing enough support for NATO.

He says the fact that Trump left the current NATO meetings abruptly doesn’t hold much weight either, since he’s left other meetings, like the G7 in Charlevoix, early.

“Trump’s not interested in international relations,” says Wiseman. “He’s cut all kinds of trips short and often asks if he has to go to these things, and he has to but he doesn’t want to. Unless he thinks it could help him domestically, like wanting to meet the North Korean leader.”

On Twitter, people weighed in on the behaviour of both Trudeau and Trump.