The Trump administration wasted no time doubling down on President Donald Trump's sharp criticism of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as the president's top economic adviser boldly accused Canada's leader of stabbing the United States in the back.
"He was polarizing. He really kind of stabbed us in the back," television pundit and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNN's Jake Tapper in an animated interview on Sunday. "He did a great disservice to the whole G7."
Kudlow defended Trump's refusal to sign a joint statement agreed to by leaders at the G7 and went on to decry that Trudeau had undermined the U.S. The president's chief economic adviser explained that Trump had no choice but to refuse to sign the G7 communique after Trudeau warned in a press conference that Canada would not be pushed around by the U.S. on steel and aluminum tariffs.
"We joined the communiqué in good faith," Kudlow said. Trump "had every right — every right — to push back on this amateurish Trudeau scheme."
"President Trump played that process in good faith," Kudlow said. So, I ask you: He gets up in the airplane and leaves, and then Trudeau starts blasting him at a domestic news conference? I am sorry, that’s a betrayal. That’s a double cross."
He added, "You just don’t behave that way, OK? It’s a betrayal."
Trump, who landed in Singapore for the highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, would not "let a Canadian prime minister push him around on the eve of this," Kudlow explained. "He is not going to permit any show of weakness on a trip to negotiate with North Korea."
"This is a case where Trudeau, it was like, I don't know, pouring collateral damage on the whole Korean trip. That was a part of Trudeau's mistake," Kudlow explained. "Trudeau made an error. He should take it back. He should pull back on his statements, and wish President Trump well in the Korean negotiations."
Kudlow continued, "I mean he can't put Trump in a position of being weak going into the North Korean talks with Kim. He can't do that. And by the way, President Trump is not weak. He will be very strong as he always is."
Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Trump, further escalated the administration's response on Fox News Sunday and said, "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door."
The comments came after Trump announced on Saturday evening that the U.S. would not join the G7 communique, despite the fact that the U.S. had initially agreed to it. Trump announced the decision in a series of tweets in which he offered harsh words for Trudeau.