Donald Trump has abruptly cancelled his final press conference at the NATO summit in London after a video appeared online of leaders including Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau appearing to mock the US president.
Trump tweeted that when his Wednesday meetings are over, he will head back to Washington and won’t do a press conference at the close of the summit, saying he had already done “so many over the past two days.”
A short clip filmed by pool reporters at Tuesday’s Buckingham Palace reception for NATO caught Trudeau apparently complaining about Trump’s unorthodox media relations and sharing a joke with Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Trump wasn’t mentioned by name during the recorded exchange.
Speaking to the press earlier on Wednesday, Trump described Trudeau as “two-faced” for his part in the footage, adding that he thought the Canadian prime minister was unhappy with him because “the truth is that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent [in Canada’s NATO contribution].”
The NATO summit has been plagued by internal strife and stresses, with Trump continuing to chide NATO member states for not increasing their defense budgets to at least 2 percent of GDP.
Earlier, Boris Johnson was forced to dismiss suggestions that he does not take Trump seriously as “complete nonsense.”
In a press conference on Tuesday, Trump sarcastically praised Macron for “one of the greatest non-answers I have ever heard” after the US leader asked him if he’d like to take “some nice ISIS fighters” into France. The jibe came as the US announced plans to impose heavy tariffs on some French goods in response to Paris’ decision to tax big tech companies.
Ahead of the London summit, Trump also berated Macron for his “nasty” statement about NATO being “brain-dead.”
“You just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO. It’s very disrespectful,” he said.