In a speech to Republican donors in Missouri on Wednesday, 12-dimensional chess player Donald Trump boasted that he lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he essentially described as hot but dumb.
“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,’” the president said in audio of the private event, which was obtained by The Washington Post. While mimicking Trudeau as a groveling fool, the president did concede that his counterpart to the north is a “nice guy, good-looking.”
Trump then admitted that he just made information up without knowing if it was true (emphasis mine):
... 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.”
The Post, citing the Office of the United States Trade Representative, said the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada.
Although the event was a fundraiser for Josh Hawley, the Republican who’s challenging Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill in November, the paper also reported that the president offered hardly a word about the man of the hour.
The event came on the heels of yet another week of upheaval in the White House after now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he’d been fired via a Trump tweet. Now, with the president more directly involved in managing American diplomacy, we can rest easy knowing there’s a master scammer at the wheel.
UPDATE, 9:38 AM ET: After the Post’s story was published, Trump tweeted that the U.S. actually does have a trade deficit with Canada—again contradicting his own Office of the United States Trade Representative:
Note: This post has been updated to clarify that the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada.