President Donald Trump, in remarks at a fundraiser Wednesday, said he made up a story about a trade deficit with Canada at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a story from The Washington Post
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump could be heard saying on an audio recording The Post reported was recorded at a fundraiser in Missouri.
“Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed,”
Trump said, then continued, “... So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ 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. 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 commented in a tweet Thursday after the Post story was published, writing, "We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do...they almost all do...and that’s how I know!"
According to officials with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S., in fact, has a trade surplus with Canada.
The audio also captured Trump talking about the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling Mexico “spoiled” and saying, “The best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal.”
He also talked about his upcoming meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un and the criticism he is receiving from the press about it.
“They were afraid of being blown up. Then, all of a sudden, they say, 'Let’s not meet,'” he said of reporters, referring to concerns that tensions between the United States and North Korea are increasing the chances of a military — and possibly nuclear — confrontation.