One day after Donald Trump‘s one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin where the American leader refused to condemn his counterpart in any capacity — not for his international crimes or the hacking of the U.S. election and the Democratic party — Justin Trudeau made his own stance clear; he won’t be tolerating any Putin nonsense.
“Canada has been unequivocal in our condemnation of Vladimir Putin and Russia,” he said at an event in Nova Scotia Tuesday, “Whether it’s their illegal annexation of Crimea, their incursion into the Donbass in Ukraine and the fact that we’re glad to have 200 Canadian soldiers there helping to train Ukrainian armies. Whether it’s their interference in Syria and the support for the murderous Assad regime, whether it’s what they were responsible for in the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury on U.K. soil against British nationals. Canada has always been clear.”
Tonight on #PrimeTimePolitics 5 & 8 ET on CPAC TV:
PM Justin Trudeau weighs in on the Trump/ Putin meeting.
We’ll have those remarks plus the rest of today’s news conference in Nova Scotia. pic.twitter.com/rtunWHBLjf
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) July 17, 2018
However decisive he was on Putin, however, Trudeau still refused to publicly criticize the U.S. president, instead reiterating his Russia stance when asked about Trump.
“As I said, we condemn Russia and the way Vladimir Putin engages in international affairs,” Trudeau repeated.
Trump received harsh criticism from both his political opponents and members of his own party after his press conference Monday where he blamed “both countries” for the tense U.S.-Russia relationship and said “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia behind the hacking. Tuesday, he made a weak attempt to roll back his comments, saying that he “misspoke” and meant to say “wouldn’t” — as in, “I don’t see any reason why [the hacking] wouldn’t be” Russia. Smooth move.
As tense as relations between Russia and the U.S. are right now, Trudeau’s weigh-in comes at a particularly rocky moment between Canada and the U.S. too. It was only a little over two weeks ago that Canada slapped their southern neighbours with retaliatory tariffs for the ones imposed by the U.S. earlier this year. Then the United States government announced earlier this week that they would challenge those tariffs through the World Trade Organization.
This could get a whole lot worse before it gets better.