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RSS FeedsTim Harper: Trudeau gets out of the way and gives Trump his victory lap at NATO summit
(The Star Business)

 
 

12 july 2018 21:50:07

 
Tim Harper: Trudeau gets out of the way and gives Trump his victory lap at NATO summit
(The Star Business)
 




The last time Justin Trudeau met the media at an international summit while Donald Trump was aboard Air Force One, the prime minister’s efforts earned him an invitation to “a special place in hell,’’ by a Trump official.So, in Brussels Thursday, Trudeau was much more diplomatic in his assessment of the NATO summit but the underlying message was clear — Trump was living in a fact-free bubble.The NATO show was now a familiar international performance by Trump, the man who rolls into town, sucks all the oxygen from the room, breaks all the crockery, wipes his dirty hands on the clean towels, insult allies, then declares victory and gets out of town.He turns anodyne photo opportunities into confrontation, he tosses smoke bombs into the room and then he emerges from the carnage to craft his own, self-congratulatory version of what happened.Declaring victory when there is scant evidence of a win — witness last month’s summit with Kim Jong Un — is a favourite gambit of the U.S. president.This time, Trudeau and allies got out of the way and let Trump take his victory lap.At issue was the question of defence spending.According to Trump, he convinced all NATO members to spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence. And he gave himself credit for allies agreeing to get to that level more quickly. Everybody in the room thanked him for his incredible leadership, Trump said.That’s just the start, Trump declared. It won’t be long before everyone is spending 4 per cent, he boasted.“We are doing numbers like they’ve never seen before,” Trump said.Specifically asked about Canada, he said it will be up to 2 per cent in a relative “short period of years.”And then came reality.Trudeau refused to open his wallet at Trump’s urging.Canada, Trudeau said, has recommitted to a goal of 2 per cent spending agreed to by Stephen Harper in Wales in 2014, but it is an aspirational target. It ...
 
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