A few world leaders were caught on tape apparently gossiping about President Trump at an evening gathering in London, adding further tensions to a set of NATO meetings.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were seen having an animated conversation about what appeared to be Trump’s lateness to bilateral meetings earlier in the day.
“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,” Trudeau says without naming the U.S. president.
Trump had one-on-one meetings Tuesday with Trudeau, Macron and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. At the outset of each meeting, Trump took questions from the press that totaled more than two hours by the end of the day.
“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” Trudeau said.
The video, which quickly went viral on social media, was posted online by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The world leaders did not appear to know they were being recorded during the 25-second clip.
.@JustinTrudeau, @EmmanuelMacron, @BorisJohnson and other VIPs shared a few words at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. No one mentions @realDonaldTrump by name, but they seem to be discussing his lengthy impromptu press conferences from earlier in the day. (Video: Host Pool) pic.twitter.com/dVgj48rpOP
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) December 3, 2019
The Canadian prime minister is caught saying Trump made an announcement, a possible reference to the president sharing that next year’s Group of Seven (G-7) summit will take place at Camp David during their meeting.
Macron is spotted making comments as he waves his hand, though his remarks are inaudible. Johnson smiles through the exchange.
The video is likely to bother Trump, who is notoriously averse to criticism or public ribbing.
World leaders openly laughed at him during his 2018 speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York after he boasted that his administration had accomplished “more than almost any administration in the history of our country in its first two years.”
The president later told reporters that the U.N. attendees “weren’t laughing at me, they were laughing with me.”
Trump has had a complicated relationship with world leaders since taking office, despite often insisting he gets along with everyone. The president’s criticisms of global alliances like NATO and the U.N. have roiled his counterparts and led to tense exchanges.
He and Macron held a tense meeting on Tuesday in which Trump uncharacteristically defended the alliance and its importance after the French president said it was experiencing “brain death.” The two men also clashed on the handling of Turkey’s membership and ISIS.
The president will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a bilateral meeting on Wednesday, followed by a working meeting with several other world leaders. He is scheduled to hold a press conference prior to departing for his return flight to Washington, D.C.