OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump continued his attacks against "nice guy" Justin Trudeau on Monday. He even flashed an impression of the Canadian prime minister.
Trump made the comments while campaigning for Republican Gov. Henry McMaster in Columbia, S.C. ahead of runoff election Tuesday. He railed against Canada after complaining about the "bad hand" of "horrible" trade deals he inherited, primarily NAFTA.
"I said, 'Justin. What's your problem, Justin?'"
White House aides told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman the president's use of the prime minister's first name is intended to be "diminishing."
Trump brought up the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que. which ended earlier this month with the president annulling his signature on the joint communique — a symbolic document meant to convey a commitment to rules-based governance with respect to human rights.
The communique was a "ridiculous thing everybody agreed to sign," Trump said, adding it was "meaningless." Trump left the summit early to head overseas for a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
"Canada's great. I love Canada. We had a wonderful understanding, you know that story. We hugged. We kissed. Everybody was happy."
Trump repeated an anecdote that he watched Trudeau's G7 press conference from Air Force One's many televisions.
Trump did a brief impression of Trudeau by raising his register, pointing his index finger in the air, and tweaked some of the prime minister's words.
"So I get onto the plane and I see Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada saying, 'Canada will not be bullied by the United States.' I said, 'What are we doing here?'"
Trump seemingly continues to be annoyed by Trudeau's comments on how Canada will retaliate against U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports. Trudeau said at the end of the G7 summit that while Canadians are polite and reasonable people, "we also will not be pushed around."
During the South Carolina rally, the president also defended his hair, mocked late-night talk show hosts, and told supporters to "get your asses out tomorrow and vote."
Trudeau's office has 'nothing new to add'
Both Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have repeatedly called the U.S. tariffs "unacceptable" and have said it is "insulting" that the White House considers Canada a national security risk to U.S. industries. Trump's commerce secretary admitted under pressure last week that Canada is not a security threat to the U.S.
The Prime Minister's Office had a measured response to Trump's latest blitz of Trudeau criticism.
"We have nothing new to add," PMO spokeswoman Chantal Gagnon told HuffPost Canada in an email Tuesday, adding "everything we've said since the steel tariffs were imposed" stands.
Watch: Trudeau asked if Canadians should boycott U.S.
Trudeau told reporters during a press conference in Ottawa last week that he hasn't personally spoken to Trump since the G7.
When asked about the president's personal attacks, Trudeau shifted the focus away from his relationship with Trump to the trading relationship between the U.S. and Canada.
"I think as politicians we develop a certain amount of thick skins and I stay focused on what we need to do to advance the common causes we have," he said. "I'm not going to react to, you know, personally comments. I'm going to stay focused on the work we need to do together."
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