Trump Administration Ramps Up Attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “Special Place in Hell for Bad Faith Diplomacy”
Leaders of G7 countries at the 2018 summit in Quebec, Canada (Photo: Twitter, @JustinTrudeau)

Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to President Donald Trump, escalated the White House's rebuke of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday. Speaking on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to not endorse the joint communique of the G7 Summit, Navarro 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."

He continued, “That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did, and that comes right from Air Force One." His reference to Air Force One implies President Trump who was enroute to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

It is still not clear what exactly it is that Prime Minister Trudeau said that has brought about such a furious backlash from President Trump. Trudeau’s stance of imposing retaliatory sanctions on U.S. has been the same since the Trump Administration’s announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the country.

During the press conference Trudeau warned that Canada would not be "pushed around." "I will always protect Canadian workers and Canadian interests," Trudeau said.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, took things further Sunday morning, saying on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trudeau's comments amounted to a "betrayal."

The comments from Trudeau prompted Trump to criticize the Canadian leader on Twitter and decline to endorse the G7 communique.

However, Trudeau has received support from the other leaders at the G7 summit with European Council President Donald Tusk using Navarro's phrasing in a tweet backing Trudeau later Sunday.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has weighed in on Trump’s decision to withdraw his support of the joint communique, saying “it sobering and a little depressing". "It's hard, it's depressing this time, but that's not the end" of the Group of Seven, she said in a rare one-on-one interview with ARD public television.

"I don't want us to keep inflating our language," she added, saying the word "depressed" was "already a lot, coming from me", in an ironic reference to her usual unflappable appearance.

Asked about Trump's threat to target U.S. tariffs against cars -- a vital industry for Germany which supports over 800,000 jobs -- "we will have to think again about what we'll do," Merkel said. "Hopefully the European Union will again act as collectively as it has this time," the chancellor said. The EU has already said it will announce countermeasures against Trump's metals tariffs on July 1.

Meanwhile, Merkel brushed aside Trump's suggestion that Russia should be readmitted to the group of the world's leading economies.

Russia has been shut out since its 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, and has since earned Western condemnation for its military intervention in Syria in support of dictator Bashar al-Assad.

"We need Russia for disarmament talks" and for discussions about both Ukraine and Syria, Merkel said. "There is no question about that." But "I understand the G7 to be a group for countries that have shared principles," she added.

Looking ahead to the next major diplomatic encounter with Trump -- a meeting of NATO alliance leaders in July -- "it won't be easy", Merkel said. The U.S. President has repeatedly slammed Europeans, Germany above all, for failing to spend enough on their own defence, claiming they are taking advantage of U.S. military power.

To deal with future military threats to Europe, Merkel pointed out that the EU had already agreed to "build up complementary capabilities to NATO". The bloc must develop "a joint strategic culture", she added, "otherwise Europe will be ground up in a world with very strong poles" of power elsewhere. (With Agency inputs)