Jun 12, 2018, 12:44 PM ET

Trump adviser apologizes for 'inappropriate' comments targeting Trudeau

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President Donald Trump's trade policy adviser, Peter Navarro, apologized Tuesday for his "inappropriate" comment suggesting that "there's a special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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"Let me correct a mistake I made," Navarro told the audience at the Wall Street Journal's annual CFO Network conference. "In conveying that message, I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message. I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words."

Asked if he were apologizing to Trudeau, he responded, "Yeah, absolutely."

Over the weekend, in an interview on "Fox News Sunday," he said," "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door."

The harshness of the language drew fire from many members of Congress, including key Republicans.

"It’s uncalled for. Just absolutely uncalled for," Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said Monday.

"I’m pretty sure that circles of hell are not reserved for Canadians proposing retaliatory tariffs," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, added.

In striking such a hostile tone against one of the oldest and closest U.S. allies, Navarro said Tuesday he was emboldened to send a "strong signal of strength" on the eve of the landmark summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un during their first meetings, June 12, 2018 in Singapore.Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un during their first meetings, June 12, 2018 in Singapore.

Trudeau angered the president for comments he made in a news conference at the conclusion of the G7 meeting, during which he said that the "U.S. Tariffs were kind of insulting" and Canada "will not be pushed around" by the United States.

Those remarks then sparked a Twitter outburst from Trump in which he called Trudeau "so indignant."

Trump addressed the feud following his meetings with Kim in Singapore at a more than hour-long press conference. He was asked why he was jeopardizing relations with long-standing allies like Canada while welcoming a historical U.S. enemy with open arms as a friend.

"I left the [G7] meeting and I'll be honest, we are being taken advantage of by virtually every one of those countries, very, very seriously," Trump said. "Now, the United States because of bad management at the top, because of presidents that didn't care about trade or didn't understand it or whatever reason, for many years with China being obviously the most successful at it but the European Union is second, 151 billion we lost, they were represented at the meeting, and we're being taken advantage of on trade. Canada does have very big advantages over us in terms of trade deficits. We have a big trade deficit with Canada. I was riding where, oh, it's actually a surplus."

He then asserted multiple times to the room full of reporters that he has a "good relationship" with Trudeau.

"I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau," he said. "Other than he had a news conference that he had because he assumed I was in an airplane and I wasn't watching. He learned. That's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned. You can't do. We laughed. We had a very good relationship. I've had a good relationship with Justin."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Canadas Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in the working session at the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018.Christinne Muschi/Reuters
President Donald Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in the working session at the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018.

In Canada Tuesday, commenting on the Trump-Kim summit, where the two leaders appeared very cordial and even smiling together, Trudeau said he supported Trump's efforts to reach a nuclear deal.

"Obviously we support the continuing efforts by the President on North Korea," the Canadian prime minister said. "We look forward to looking at the details of the agreement."

But asked about the rhetoric coming from the White House, Trudeau stood firm on his commitment to first safeguard Canadian interests.

"On his comments, I am going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests."

ABC News' Ali Rogin contributed to this report.

News - Trump adviser apologizes for 'inappropriate' comments targeting Trudeau

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CComments

  • Jake the real Jake

    Typical trash mouth trump speak cult followers!

  • IndependentforFreedom

    The propaganda fantasy tape of him and Jong Un together was created, produced, directed by David Dennison, ah .. John Miller, aah .. John Baron or the hallucinating midget of a brain itself, ego driven me. me. Donald Trump -

  • jon rhodes

    Just one more example of Trump's crack team practicing their version of diplomacy.

  • beingcurious

    "I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message." TRANSLATION: "I apologize...sort of (Not really!)

  • Personal

    What really stuck out to me was that he was resentful that a leader opposed Donald Trump, not the USA. He has hero worship problems.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money

    He really needs to apologize for the cult-like attitude.

  • zendae

    So much apologizing.

  • Hawkman100

    Good to see that this Trump toady knows how to say sorry. He's about the only one in that administration that does.

    Frankly, just about nobody up here in Canada takes Trump seriously. He is as much of a laughing stock in Canada as he is in the rest of the world. He hasn't done much yet that will cause lasting damage, but there is certainly a lot of potential for that to happen.

    One can only hope that Robert Mueller will drop the bomb shell soon, because there's enough people in the States with very limited brainpower that could lead to him getting elected again.

  • Samuel Ryan

    I guess you couldn't have 2 of the attack dogs fake a heart attack. One of them had to face up to their lies with the press.

  • Mark G.

    "other than he had a news conference that he had". With trump, the absence of syntax is astounding!

  • j tennum

    How dare the Trump administration act like such moronic boors. Idiots all of them starting right at the top. The POTUS is a moron. His staff calls him that and they are right.

  • concernedvoter

    This Orange Imbecile is a disgrace. He's yukking it up in the White House with the Russians, Communist China and Now North Korea while treating our long time Allies like dirt and our Enemies?? How any Spineless GOP Senator or Congressman can back this behavior is Treasonous.

  • ohyes2011

    When is trump going to apologize to Trudeau? And to the American people?
    I know...never.

  • Eliza

    Who cares about Trudeau

  • catmom

    Really? And that is supposed to make everything okay? His boss thinks it is just fine and continues to attack Truedeau.

  • Grampa S

    I did a little research on the 270 percent claim for the dairy tariff and it is true. The rest of the story is those tariffs don't kick in until after a quota is met. In 2017 we never hit the quota. In fact we exported twice as much dairy to canada than they produced.

  • Millard Farquar

    Hopefully Republicans will change their tune when tariffs start to impact their base. Many of them will lose their international customers and livelihoods when retaliatory tariffs force international buyers to look elsewhere for resources. And once that happens, it's unlikely they will turn back to the U.S. if tariffs are eventually removed. But we will have "America First" even though we will find ourselves slowly moving down the rankings on the global stage. And all of this because Trump had a thought while on the pot.

  • Millard Farquar

    Wow...Republicans actually drawing a line!

  • B-K KnightRider

    How about that. One of Trump's flunkies can apologize. The thing is, I never heard him explain EXACTLY how Trudeau supposedly engaged in bath faith diplomacy nor EXACTLY how Trudeau supposedly stabbed Trump in the back. After all, Trudeau's comment was pretty friggin mild. Basically all he said was "Canada first" in a different way from how Trump says "America first."

  • Lumeni vital

    Trumps childish vengeful retorts when anyone even slightly criticizes him must spread like a virus to his various mouthpieces who also retort at a Junior High level.

    At least Navarro apologized.

    Unfortunately Larry Kudrow suffered a heart attack.

    Rudi has been missing from action.

    When is Sarah Huckleberry Sanders up to bat next?

    What happened to Nunes? Any false memos in the making?

  • Bluejay

    All you need to know is out of the people in the White House and the most adult and most truthful is Baron...

  • Liars N. Fools

    Any special place for Navarro? Probably crowded with Trump officials.

  • doubledouble

    So don gets pushback over the weekend, gets his feelings hurt, then responds like a child with a hurt ego rather than doing what a real leader would do, which is putting his country’s needs first.
    The US and its citizens will suffer in a trade war with Canada, make no mistake, as Canada is the largest balanced trading partner with the US (its not close) and as well as being a large ready made trading partner, the US has an 8.2 billion trade surplus with Canada - BTW the dairy exports are only a tiny fraction of total trade.
    The fact that imports and exports between the two countries even out on such a large scale means millions of jobs on both sides. But of course don wants to mess with that.
    But back to my point. Don is not acting in the best interests of his country here. Far from it. By threatening to “ make Canada pay.” as a result of his bruised ego, many Americans will be simply out of work, farmers, auto workers and the trickle down.
    This is nothing short of sabotage of the American economy and the American people for nothing short of personal motive, Congress needs to say enough is enough, and put a stop to this rather than continuing to enable this man child.

  • John Smith

    On behalf of the majority of Americans I sincerely appologize to Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau. To bad our imbecile president couldn't have made the apology himself.

  • WhoIsThis

    His childish, uncaring, vile comments were typical for this administration

  • Renate

    I don't know why this guy is apologizing. Trump LOVES hyperbole. These two should get along famously.

  • DOA Joker

    Trump to Navarro, "Don't ever upstage me with a better insult again."

  • Just wow

    Maybe he only apologized because he was worried about that "karma" going after his heart.

  • BBNCCU

    I will not apologize for my belief that there is a special place in HELL for DOTUS and his minons!

  • NavinJayy

    Yes, you said it wrong. The United States is hell as long as Trump is at the helm.

  • Furrmin The Cat

    This administration redefines stupid every day.

  • Bluejay

    Trump just amended his one way agreement to Kim, and not only will he stop military exercises in SK, but Kim now also owns Canada.

  • Michael McCall

    Really Stupid Big Mouth. You're In A Government Position. You Do So Many Things Wrong. The Least You Can Do Is Watch What Words Come Flying Out Of Your Mouth. Just Because trump Gets Away With Saying Stupid Things Doesn't Mean All His Cronies Get To As Well.

  • Bluejay

    If he has even the least bit of dignity or self respect, he would RESIGN IMMEDIATELY for causing an international incident.

    But the fact that he works for Trump proved he has zero dignity or self respect.

  • dancer92136

    So on another front Trump's long term attorney expects to be indicted

    Cohen has been telling friends he fears he will soon be indicted and arrested over the federal investigation he’s facing in New York, the source told the Daily News. Investigators are probing Cohen for bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, potential offenses that resulted in FBI raids at his Manhattan home, hotel room and office in April.

  • pfon71361

    Mr. Navarro is right to apologize. In the end, Prime Minister Trudeau must represent the interests of Canada while honoring already established and binding trade agreements. Name calling and vitriol serve no purpose and are at variance with international norms for conducting relations between close allies. Better to negotiate a fairer, more balanced trade accord than to engage in unfair and immature rhetoric.

  • d big

    I will be shocked if Trump supporters don't start massing at the Canadian boarding ready for war, just like John Candy's movie Canadian Bacon, gullible is far too kind a word for his "poorly educated" base.

  • ReasonableGuy

    He is a national embarrassment. A total moron devoid of diplomatic sense.

  • James R. Paris

    An advisor to Trump has made a public apology? Well, he will be fired by Friday. Trump doesn't respect anyone who apologizes for anything. Remember that aid who insulted McCain a couple of weeks ago? That one apologized too and got fired.