Things have been pretty crazy in American international relations recently with Donald Trump trying to meet Kim Jong Un, pulling out of the Iran deal, trying to renegotiate NAFTA and then slapping “national security” tariffs on everybody. We can only imagine that the president’s phone has been ringing off the hook as world leaders try to get from POTUS himself just what is going on here. One person who we know has been on the phone with DJT is our own Justin Trudeau who appears to be completely baffled by the less-than-friendly treatment from our biggest ally.
When Trump invoked new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports to the U.S. and said the current trade climate poses a “national security threat” to his country, he stunned not only the international community and American allies, but members of his own government. Even Republicans were left to wonder, “When has Canada ever posed a national security threat to the United States?”
Well, it looks like we all forgot a crucial moment in history and Donald Trump was quick to point that out to the PM on a phone call last month. What about The War of 1812?
New reporting from CNN reveals that during a May 25 phone conversation, Trudeau pressed Trump to justify his inclusion of Canada in his list of countries that pose a national security threat. POTUS reportedly then said to the PM, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?”
According to the sources, Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a “national security” issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812 https://t.co/jzmxfP1tzM
— CNN (@CNN) June 6, 2018
If you went to a Canadian high school, you probably remember being taught about that one time the U.S. and Canada were on opposite sides of an international conflict in 1812. Seeing as that was 200 years ago, things were a little different back then. Most notably: the Americans were trying to take over the entire continent of North America and Canada was still under British rule, meaning “Canada” the country didn’t even exist yet.
So, yes, troops from the north burned down the White House in retaliation for the Americans attacking York, Ontario which would eventually be part of Canada. But the troops were British and if anything, the important part of the story is that it was retaliation for an American attack. Personally, we would give up our right foot (and then use our free healthcare to have it reattached) to see the look on JT’s face at that moment.
Want to win an argument? Bring up something that happened 200 years ago.
TAKE THAT CANADA! https://t.co/Mm2gfIoOVN
— Jordan Pinkster (@Mr_Pinkster) June 6, 2018
my favorite part is that, not only is this the only justification he can think of, but he doesn’t even he assert it as fact, he is asking trudeau whether this thing he is incorrectly using to justify a decision he has already made is true or not https://t.co/ZSPs3itiIk
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) June 6, 2018
In Trump’s defense, the 1812 reference was likely a joke, however one of CNN’s sources who was on the phone call pointed out that it’s not really a joke if that’s his best response to imposing tariffs on Canada.
“[It was a joke] to the degree one can ever take what is said as a joke,” the unnamed source said, “The impact on Canada and ultimately on workers in the US won’t be a laughing matter.”
To make things more interesting, Trudeau and Trump will have an opportunity to discuss all this in person Friday when the latter makes his first trip to Canada since taking office for the G7 Summit. In a press conference Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trudeau and his French counterpart said that they would continue being kind but firm with the United States. The two leaders have a similar approach to dealing with POTUS, although lately, Macron was accused of getting a little too chummy.
VIDEO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls Donald Trump’s national security justification for new metal tariffs on US allies “laughable,” as he and French President Emmanuel Macron form a united front on trade ahead of the G7 summit pic.twitter.com/Na21QPBUiZ
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 7, 2018