President Donald Trump loves to tell people that the world is laughing at the United States. He's been saying it for literal decades. But according to a now-viral video that surfaced on Tuesday (December 3), perhaps the world isn't laughing at the U.S., writ large. Maybe world leaders are laughing at... Trump.
The video in question was taken during a high-powered reception at the annual summit for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a coalition of countries that have promised to "protect the people and territory of its members." NATO was founded after World War II, and countries get together every year to talk about defense and other issues that could impact their alliances. But this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also caught discussing Trump's predilection for off-the-cuff press conferences, in a hot-mic moment that featured France's president Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.
When Johnson asks Macron why he was late, Trudeau interjects with, "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top."
"You just watch his team's jaws drop to the floor," added Trudeau, whose Liberal party recently withstood a grueling election. The video doesn't mention Trump by name, but people on social media immediately jumped to conclusions as to who they were talking about — and as NBC notes, the fact that Trump and Macron sat together for a 38-minute press conference earlier that day might have been a crucial giveaway.
Given that Trump is in the business of calling his adversaries by disparaging nicknames, he handled the news exactly how you'd predict he would. During a Wednesday (December 4) press conference that German Chancellor Angela Merkel also attended, the President called Trudeau "two-faced," though he added that he thinks the Prime Minister is "a nice guy" who he believes "wasn't happy" that Trump pressured him on the amount of money Canada spends on defense every year.
Canada spends about 1.4 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, NPR notes, while the U.S. spends about 3.5 percent of its GDP on defense. To be fair: The latter country has a larger GDP by far, and could theoretically afford to pay more. Maybe Trump is just worried that the U.S. also pays significantly more for a deeply broken healthcare system than what Canada does for relatively efficient healthcare. (Just kidding! He hates that about Canada, too.)
Trudeau handled the video, and the slight, as honestly as he could have: When a reporter asked him about the clip on Wednesday, he admitted that, yeah, he and the other world leaders were talking about Trump. "Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump," he said, per CNN. "I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable." He also explained that his comment about jaws dropping was in reference to Trump's surprise announcement that he'd be hosting 2020's G-7 summit at Camp David, and not the private Trump National Doral Miami resort, from which he has not divested.
"Every different leader has teams who now and then [had] jaws drop at unscheduled surprises," Trudeau added, "like that video for itself, for example." By now, Trump's team should be used to expecting the unexpected — after all, this is a president who often test-drives new policies on Twitter, sometimes before alerting the members of his administration who might be most affected.