The leaders of Britain, Canada, France and the Netherlands have been caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking US President Donald Trump’s lengthy media appearances ahead of Wednesday’s Nato summit.
The footage, shot by the British host’s camera pool on Tuesday evening and spotted and subtitled by Canada’s CBC, set the tone for the allies’ summit in Watford, just outside London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can be heard asking France’s President Emmanuel Macron: “Is that why you were late?”
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interjects: “He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top.”
In the video, Macron appears to tell an anecdote about his encounter with Trump, as Britain’s Princess Anne and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte look on, but the French leader’s back is to the camera and he is inaudible amid the hubbub.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, he announced…” an amused Trudeau declares, adding: “You just watched his team’s jaw drop to the floor.”
Following the video, Trump responded by reviving his feud with Trudeau, labelling him “two-faced” over his leading role in the exchange.
The prickly president’s honour was apparently satisfied by this, as he was later overheard on a second hot mic boasting: “That was funny when I said that guy was two-faced.”
And in a final irony, Trump cancelled his scheduled press conference at the end of the summit, concluding not unreasonably that he had already said all he had to say during his ad hoc Q&As.
It could have gone very differently, and Nato diplomats admitted that they feared the worst on Wednesday morning when video footage emerged of the leaders laughing about Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception.
Meanwhile, in another press appearance, Trump told reporters, “He’s two-faced.”
“With Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying two percent and I guess he’s not very happy about it,” he said.
It is a known fact that Trump loves to dominate an international summit with impromptu, rambling press briefings that leave his fellow world leaders struggling to stick to their agenda.