Trump sends creepy handwritten notes to Justin Trudeau
|BY LEON NEAL/GETTY IMAGES.|
TRUMP HAS BEEN SENDING CREEPY HANDWRITTEN NOTES TO JUSTIN TRUDEAU
The president has been using his Zodiac Killer–inspired method of communicating to conduct matters of U.S. diplomacy.
By BESS LEVIN, VANITY FAIR
Before Donald Trump became president, he had a long history of tearing out pages from magazines (or printing out offending articles), scrawling some nonsense in Sharpie, and mailing it to the party he believed had wronged him. But while most people in his current position probably would have dropped the habit—which feels not dissimilar to a kidnapper’s M.O. of cutting and pasting letters that spell “If you ever want to see your dog again…”—this particular president has been using his Zodiac Killer–inspired method of communicating to conduct matters of U.S. diplomacy.
Axios reports that back in May 2017, Trump tore off the cover of Businessweek—which featured a picture of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and the headline “The Anti-Trump”—and wrote, in silver Sharpie, something to the effect of “Looking good! Hope it’s not true!” In spite of the concerns of some staffers, who were stricken with the crazy notion this was an inappropriate way to communicate with a foreign leader, the White House then sent the missive to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, where the Canadian ambassador thought he was being pranked. Per Axios, he called the White House to check, and was sadly told that the note was real.
Alarmingly, that wasn’t the last time the president of the United States chose to communicate with the prime minister of Canada in such a fashion:
Months later, on Dec. 8, 2017, President Trump falsely told a rally crowd in Pensacola, Florida, that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. Around that same time, Trump also mailed Trudeau a document purporting to show that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, according to a source with direct knowledge. Trump wrote in Sharpie on the document: “Not good!!” or something to that effect, the source recalled. Trump’s document only mentioned America’s deficit in the trade of goods and ignored its surplus in services (the two combined would give the U.S. its overall surplus).
At that point, Trudeau seemingly realized that the only way to respond to Trump was to come down to his level, the one in which heads of government use sentence fragments and emojis to communicate:
A few weeks later, Trump received a handwritten letter from Trudeau. The note, on Trudeau’s official stationery marked by the Maple Leaf, began with a friendly tone, but ended with a drop of acid. “Dear Donald,” Trudeau wrote in the letter dated Dec. 20, 2017, according to a source with direct knowledge of its contents, which 2 other sources confirmed. “It’s been a busy year! Enjoy the Christmas holidays—you deserve it.”
“One thing,” Trudeau added. “You gave a great speech in Pensacola, but you were slightly off on the balance of trade with Canada. USTR says so! All the best for 2018, Justin.” The second page of the letter brought the kicker. Trudeau enclosed a printout of Canada’s informational page from the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Trudeau underlined the section on the USTR website, which at the time reported that “the U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” Trudeau circled the $12.5 billion and drew a cheeky little smiley face next to it, according to a source with direct knowledge.
Unfortunately, those exchanges seem to have represented a high point between the two leaders. Last year, Trump ditched the G7 Summit in Canada early to hang out with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, while his trade adviser essentially told Fox News Sunday that Trudeau should go to hell. The president has reportedly told aides that Canada—yes, Canada!—is the “worst country” to negotiate with and privately describes Trudeau as a “wise guy,” like he’s an extra in Goodfellas.(Trump also reportedly describes Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, as “very nasty,” which is generally how he views women who have no interest in him.)
In happier letter-writing news, last week the president told reporters that he’d received yet another “beautiful” letter from brutal dictator Kim Jong Un, who recently completed his third missile test in less than a month, and that the two will probably meet again soon.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: August 14, 2019 at 05:48PM