Spat under the surface as NATO leaders appear to gossip about Trump

In this grab taken from video on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, France‘s President Emmanuel Macro, centre right, gestures as he speaks during a NATO reception. While NATO leaders are professing unity as they gather for a summit near London, several seem to have been caught in an unguarded exchange on camera apparently gossiping about U.S. President Donald Trump’s behavior. In footage recorded during a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne. (Host Broadcaster via AP)In this grab taken from video on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, Britain‘s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, speaks during a NATO reception. While NATO leaders are professing unity as they gather for a summit near London, several seem to have been caught in an unguarded exchange on camera apparently gossiping about U.S. President Donald Trump’s behavior. In footage recorded during a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne. (Host Broadcaster via AP)In this grab taken from video on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, Canada‘s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, gestures as he speaks during a NATO reception. While NATO leaders are professing unity as they gather for a summit near London, several seem to have been caught in an unguarded exchange on camera apparently gossiping about U.S. President Donald Trump’s behavior. In footage recorded during a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne. (Host Broadcaster via AP)U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands prior to a NATO round table meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. As NATO leaders meet and show that the world‘s biggest security alliance is adapting to modern threats, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is refusing to concede that the future of the 29-member alliance is under a cloud. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)U.S. President Donald Trump, center left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive for a round table meeting during a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. As NATO leaders meet and show that the world‘s biggest security alliance is adapting to modern threats, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is refusing to concede that the future of the 29-member alliance is under a cloud. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WATFORD, England — While NATO leaders professed unity on Wednesday at a summit near London, a spat rippled under the surface after several were caught in an unguarded exchange on camera apparently gossiping about U.S. President Donald Trump’s behavior.

Trump branded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” after the remarks captured during a reception in London at Buckingham Palace.

Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II at Tuesday evening’s event.

After Johnson asked Macron, “is that why you were late?” Trudeau could be heard saying “he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.” That appeared to be a reference to Trump’s long and unscheduled question-and-answer session with journalists earlier Tuesday.

Trudeau also said: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

Not mentioned by name

Trump wasn’t mentioned by name during the exchange.

Footage of the palace reception was recorded by a pool camera. The clip was posted online by Canadian broadcaster CBC and has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Trump said Wednesday that Trudeau was likely upset that the U.S. president had broached the fact that Canada falls short of the NATO target of spending 2% of its gross domestic product on defense.

“Well he’s two-faced,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “And honestly, with Trudeau he’s a nice guy, I find him to be a very nice guy but you know the truth is that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2% and I guess he’s not very happy about it.”

Trudeau’s office had no immediate comment. Trudeau spoke briefly to Trump as NATO leaders gathered for a summit Wednesday in Watford, outside London, and the two men shook hands.

Leaders of the 29 NATO states are marking the 70th anniversary of the military alliance — and trying to patch up differences over defense spending, the alliance’s strategic direction and member nation Turkey’s military action in northern Syria.

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