Alwaght- US President Donald Trump lashed out at the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him "dishonest and weak".
Trump tweeted on Saturday that the US was pulling back its endorsement of the G7 summit's communique in part because of what he called Trudeau's "false statements" at a news conference.
In an extraordinary set of tweets aboard Air Force One, on its way to Singapore for Tuesday's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, Trump threw the G7 summit into disarray and threatened to escalate his trade war just as Canada released the G7's official communique.
Its statement took a generally positive view of the leaders' positions on trade matters while acknowledging tensions with the US.
A few hours earlier, Trudeau had told reporters that all seven leaders had come together to sign the joint declaration.
Trump tweeted "Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US Market!"
He followed up by tweeting "PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, "US Tariffs were kind of insulting" and he "will not be pushed around." Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!"
"We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the #G7 summit," spokesman Cameron Ahmad said. "The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before — both in public, and in private conversations with the President."
Trump's personal attack on Trudeau is unprecedented in the countries' longstanding relationship.
Trump also changed his Twitter profile header picture from the G7 family photo to a photograph of himself singing the anthem with members of US military in Atlanta in January this year – apparently another jab at his summit-mates, considering how far back he had to dig to find that one.
Trudeau’s office responded to the verbal attack in a statement saying that the PM did nothing to provoke an outburst from Trump.
“The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn’t said before — both in public, and in private conversations with the President,” it stated, adding that the Canadian government remains “focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit.”
"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies," the post-summit statement by the G7 leaders, which was released about an hour before Trump's fresh rant, read. For that hour, it seemed like a step toward reconciliation: French President Emmanuel Macron, also at dagger's point with Trump over tariffs, called the document "good news," though on a more cautious note he added: “Nevertheless, I do not consider that with a declaration all is obtained and it is obvious that we will have in the coming weeks, the next months, to continue to work.”
On Twitter, the French leader was more assertive about the summit’s success, claiming that “our exchanges have made it possible to restore the truth over trade between Europe and the United States.”
Before Trump's turnaround, British Prime Minister Theresa May, who Trump snubbed at the summit, strove to reinforce the image of the "special" US-UK relationship. “We work closely with President Trump, and the UK has a very good relationship with the United States,” she said, noting that the two-day summit was filled with “some difficult discussions and strong debate.”
In the run-up to the summit, Trump riled up his fellow world leaders with accusations of unfair trade practices, earning him some flak from both Trudeau and Macron, who even suggested that the G7 could fare as the G6, without the US if need be. During the summit itself, Trump's behavior seemed almost deliberately disdainful: coming late, leaving early, contradicting others on Russia and suggesting that Canada lift all tariffs on US goods (which elicited a nervous laugh from Trudeau).