President Trump made the shocking admission on Wednesday that he made up information during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
During a fundraising speech in Missouri, Trump recalled contradicting Trudeau, who told him Canada didn’t have a trade deficit with the U.S. — even though he had “no idea” whether that was true.
Trump, who was raising money for Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley, said, “I didn’t even know...I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid...And I thought they were smart,’” according to a recording obtained by the Washington Post.
“I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it,'" Trump said.
‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible,” Trump went on to say.
The U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada, which was the country’s second largest trading partner in 2016, according to the Office of U.S. Trade Representative.
Trudeau said Wednesday he was “very optimistic” going into talks with the U.S. and Mexico as they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking in a Bloomberg TV interview in Regina, Saskatchewan, Trudeau said there was an “eminently achievable win-win-win” result available, and that NAFTA has been good for all three countries.
Trump has said he will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, despite a world economic watchdog's warnings that they will hurt economic growth globally.