Home Politics Trudeau, Macron, Johnson appear to joke about Trump

Trudeau, Macron, Johnson appear to joke about Trump


LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Jens Stoltenberg, Nato Secretary General, Queen Elizabeth II, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada join other Nato leaders for a group photograph at a reception for NATO leaders hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2019 in London, England.

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The leaders of France, Canada and the U.K. appeared to be gossiping about President Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, according to video footage circulated of the event.

In the video, in which the world leaders don’t appear to realize their conversation is being recorded, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks French President Macron: “Is that why you were late?” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then steps in and says: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.”

It is not clear who Trudeau was referring to and none of people present — which also includes Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Princess Anne — mention Trump by name.

However, Trump’s remarks alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier on Tuesday lasted 53 minutes, according to a White House transcript, when the itinerary had suggested that it would last 20 minutes. The U.S. president was later involved in 38 minutes of remarks alongside Macron.

The footage also features a “jaws drop to the floor” sentence from the Canadian prime minster, potentially referring a team of officials that work in close contact with a world leader. But the words do not appear to be a continuation of Trudeau’s previous comments.

Spokespersons for Johnson and Macron’s offices have both declined to comment on the video.

Leaders of NATO countries are in the U.K. to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance and met the British queen and her family at an evening event on Tuesday. But the celebrations come against a backdrop of division between members on its future direction.

During a press conference Tuesday, Macron and Trump expressed differing views over topics like Turkey, Islamic State fighters and the overall role of the transatlantic institution. During the morning session, Trump strongly denounced comments the French president made earlier this year about NATO.

Macron told The Economist publication in October that the military alliance was experiencing “brain death.” The American leader hit back, saying he could see France “breaking off” from NATO and said Macron’s comments had been “very, very nasty” to the 28 other member states.

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