Nato summit: Donald Trump calls Justin Trudeau ‘two-faced’ over video of world leaders ‘mocking’ US President – latest news
- Boris Johnson | Nato is rock solid
- World leaders gathered in Watford
- Follow our general election liveblog here
- Inside the room with Donald Trump
Donald Trump has called his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau "two-faced" in reaction to a video which appeared to show him and other world leaders mocking the US President.
Nato leaders Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau were caught on camera appearing to mock Mr Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday night.
A huddle, which included Princess Anne, was filmed apparently gossiping about the US president’s unorthodox style, although Mr Trump is not mentioned by name.
Asked on Wednesday afternoon about Mr Trudeau’s involvement, Mr Trump said: "Well, he’s two-faced."
He went on to say that Mr Trudeau "is a very nice guy", before challenging him on how much Canada contributed financially to Nato.
Mr Trump was scheduled to turn up with Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg for a five-minute photocall on Monday morning inside the US ambassador’s residence in London.
It turned into an almost hour-long, frenzied, press conference, which the world leaders appeared to mock.
Mr Johnson can be heard asking French President Emmanuel Macron: "Is that why you were late?"
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says: "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."
Later in the conversation Mr Trudeau adds: "You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor."
It came after Mr Trump branded the French President’s comments that Nato is "brain dead" as "very nasty", before the pair met on Tuesday at the US ambassador’s residence in London.
The leaders were hosted at Buckingham Palace by The Queen on Monday night and today were in Watford for behind-closed-doors talks.
Mr Johnson closed the two-day summit with a press conference of his own, where he reiterated that the NHS was not for sale, dodged a question about Mr Trump’s relationship with Prince Andrew and called the US an "invaluable ally" of the UK.
Hot mic picks up Trump talking about scrapped press conference
As we reported earlier, Donald Trump cancelled his second press conference.
Hot mics appear to be the gift that just keeps giving at this Nato summit.
Another one picked up the US President:
Trump caught on hot mic talking about Trudeau and his scrapping of news conf per pool reporter @betsy_klein – “Oh, and then you know what they'll say. He didn't do a press conference. He didn't do a press conference. That was funny when I said the guy's two-faced, you know that.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 4, 2019
Trudeau admits he was referring to Trump's 'impromptu press conference' in video
Justin Trudeau has admitted he was referring to Trump’s "impromptu press conference" during an informal chat with world leaders.
Trudeau says he was referring to Trump's 'impromptu press conference' during informal chat with world leaders that was captured on video. Says reference to 'jaws dropping' among members of president's team was about unscheduled announcement that US hosting next G7 at Camp David.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) December 4, 2019
Earlier, Boris Johnson told gathered journalists he did not know what reporters were talking about when questioned on it.
Johnson on the election: 'It's me or a Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition'
The Prime Minister ended on his own terms – talking up the general election.
He said the choice was simple – vote for him or vote for a Jeremy Corbyn-Nicola Sturgeon coalition, which would involve two referendums, one on Scottish independence and one on Brexit.
"I might go further," he said. "There is a choice between those who want to strengthen Nato and those in the Labour opposition who actually want to destroy it, destroy Nato, this alliance that has kept us safe.
"I want to strengthen MI5, that keeps us safe. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party want to install a home secretary who wants to disband MI5.
"I want longer sentences for violent criminals and to make sure that terrorists serve their full term, Mr Corbyn doesn’t agree with that."
Boris Johnson signed off by saying the only plan Corbyn has "apart from destroying Nato" is for two more referendums and leaving the British political landscape in "total disarray".
'NHS for sale' is nonsense, says Johnson
The final question of the press conference was reserved for the NHS.
The Prime Minister was asked if he would rule out putting the health service on the negotiating table.
He said: "Oh boy. I thought everybody by now had rumbled this balony for the nonsense that it is.
"I think I’ll bring this press conference to a close now because we’re staring to scrape the barrel."
Boris Johnson dodges Prince Andrew-Donald Trump question
Comments by the US President on Prince Andrew from yesterday, when Donald Trump said he did not know the Duke of York, were put to Boris Johnson.
It was pointed out that the two men had been pictured together a number of times, once even playing golf together.
Here are a couple of examples:
The reporter asked Mr Johnson if he thought his US counterpart was an "amnesiac or a serial liar".
The Prime Minister said: "Frankly, that’s one of those good effort to drag in totally extraneous questions.
"This is about strengthening the Nato alliance.
"None of those issues came up in any of the sessions, or to any of my knowledge in any of the bi-lateral meetings that took place."
Johnson doesn't rule out Huawei roll-out
Boris Johnson was pressed about the Huawei roll-out.
Asked if he had decided not to go ahead with Huawei, Mr Johnson said: "On Huawei and 5G. I don’t want this country to be unnecessarily hostile to investment from overseas.
"On the other hand, we cannot prejudice our vital national security interests, nor can we prejudice our ability to co-operate with other Five Eyes security partners, and that we will be how – that will be the key criterion that informs our decision about Huawei."
'Absolute nonsense,' says Trump on that now-infamous video
Boris Johnson was asked about the now-infamous video.
Sky News‘s Deborah Haynes asked the Prime Minister: "Do you not take Donald Trump seriously?"
The response: "That’s absolute nonsense. I don’t know where that came from."
He was later pressed on the video by another reporter, to which he said: "I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re referring to."
US is an 'invaluable ally,' says Johnson
Asked if Donald Trump is good for Britain and the West, Boris Johnson made note of the American response to the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury.
"I certainly think that the United States is the guarantor of, has been a massive contributor to Nato, has been for 70 years a pillar of stability for our collective security," he said.
He said the US had stood "shoulder for shoulder" with the UK after the attempt on the life of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
"You may remember country after country stepped forward to expel Russian diplomats – Russian spies – in solidarity with the UK. And the United States actually expelled 60.
"That was a fantastic testament, I think, to the trans-Atlantic alliance.
"American stood shoulder to shoulder with us then, has done for decades and is an invaluable ally and continues to be so."
Boris Johnson addressing journalists – watch live
Asked to clarify his position on whether foreign fighters should be returned to the UK, Mr Johnson said: "As you know, one of the difficulties we have in taking these people back is that our legal systems make it very difficult for us to secure convictions.
"And I go back to what I said earlier, people go out to break the law, to sort of fight in terrorist organisations, then they really have to take the consequences."
Pushed again on whether he will allow Huawei to help build Britain’s 5G network, Mr Johnson said: "Well, we’re going to make a decision and we’re going to make it based on, as I say, on the paramount importance of protecting our critical national infrastructure and also protecting our five-eyes relationships – and I don’t think it’s anything to do with the timing of the election."
Asked whether China should be a strategic partner or an enemy, the Prime Minister added: "Well I certainly don’t think the second thing (enemy), there was no support for that idea.
"I think what people felt was that it was right that we should build a strategic partnership with China, but that we should be aware also of the challenges that China presents – particularly when it comes to areas of high technology, I think that would be a fairer characterisation of the discussion."
He then refused to answer a question on whether President Trump is an "amnesiac or a serial liar" after he said he didn’t know Prince Andrew despite evidence showing they played golf together.
Mr Johnson said Nato leaders wanted to avoid any "misunderstandings" with Turkey over its plans following its incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria.
Speaking at the close of the alliance leaders’ 70th anniversary meeting in Watford, the Prime Minister acknowledged there were "great complexities" in the region.
The Turkish offensive against the Kurds – seen by many in the West as key allies in the fight against Islamic State (IS) – has overshadowed the gathering after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested it showed Nato had suffered a "brain death".
Mr Johnson said they recognised the "huge pressures" faced by Turkey in dealing with 4 million refugees from the conflict in Syria as well as the "terrorist threat" from the Kurdish PKK in Turkey.
"What we were all trying to do is understand Turkey’s plans for that stretch of northern Syria, what they want to do, how they see the future there and the way forward.
"What we want to do is to avoid any misunderstandings between allies within Nato about Turkey’s intentions and how that situation will develop."
'We'll go directly back to Washington,' Trump says as he rules out second press conference
There will be no repeat of the mammoth press conference on day one of the Nato summit.
Donald Trump said: "We’ll go directly back [to Washington]. I think we’ve done plenty of press conferences… I think we’ve answered plenty of questions."
And here’s our sketch writer Michael Deacon’s take on it…
Has Trump just cancelled his big press conference today because the other boys made fun of his last one
— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) December 4, 2019
Trump calls Justin Trudeau 'two-faced'
Yesterday, it was France’s Emmanuel Macron.
Today, it’s Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
Donald Trump called his Canadian counterpart "two-faced" when asked about the video in which Mr Trudeau said the US President’s team’s "jaw dropped to the floor" during an impromptu press conference.
#NATOLondon: US President Donald Trump: @JustinTrudeau is "two-faced. He's a nice guy, but the truth is I called him out on that fact he's paying only 2% and I guess he's not very happy about it." pic.twitter.com/upyG9aghMW
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) December 4, 2019
Asked what he made of the video, Mr Trump said: "Well, he’s two-faced. And honestly, with Justin Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy. But the truth is that
"I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying two per cent and I guess he’s not very happy about it."
Melania Trump serenaded with rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You
With the world leaders locked behind closed doors, their other halves were forced to entertain themselves on Wednesday afternoon.
So, away from the gravity of the summit in Hertfordshire, Melania Trump visited a charity hub in the captial.
She was serenaded with a rendition of Mariah Carey’s festive classic All I Want For Christmas Is You as she dropped by a Salvation Army centre in east London.
The US First Lady bobbed her head slightly as around 30 children from Baden Powell Primary School belted out the well-known Christmas song.
Wearing a black and white houndstooth check coat over a black sheath dress, the wife of US President Donald Trump appeared to say "bravo" as she congratulated the ensemble.
She also spent around 20 minutes helping the school children make Christmas wreaths, using sparkly pipe cleaners, pine cones and tinsel.
Mrs Trump beamed throughout the visit, commending the Christmas hat-clad youngsters on their festivewear and chatting more generally about the festive season.
The First Lady also joined US Embassy Marines to put gifts in bags to help with the Salvation Army’s annual present appeal for local families.
She placed a white frisbee with her Be Best logo into one bag, and a football into another.
Mrs Trump then handed out Be Best branded ornaments to children in the choir after they finished their performance, before leaving in her motorcade.
The First Lady was accompanied to Clapton by Suzanne Johnson, wife of US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson.
Nato leaders will discuss rise of China, General Secretary reveals
It has always been the elephant in the room, but now Jens Stoltenberg has made it public knowledge.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg says for the first time member states will be addressing the rise of China and their investment in "defence capabilities".
Follow the latest from the summit here: https://t.co/sH3NxloSV6 pic.twitter.com/xIMhA7tTGp
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 4, 2019
What details, if any, we will get remains to be seen.
An early contender for picture of the day
Boris Johnson spent much of the day yesterday seemingly avoiding picture opportunities with Donald Trump.
And this morning, a video emerged of him involved in a huddle seemingly mocking the US President’s impromptu press conference.
Here is Mr Johnson and his Home Secretary Dominic Raab – captions welcomed please.
Journalists are shut out of the Nato meeting
And, with that, Natio General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announces that is that for the gathered media.
Waving his gavel in the air, he called time on the public section of the summit.
Cameras were then cleared from the galleys and journalists filed out to leave the world leaders to discuss in private.
British Prime Minister addresses gathered delegates
Boris Johnson has said Britain is "rock solid" in its commitment to Nato as he addressed leaders at the military alliance’s 70th anniversary summit in Watford.
In opening remarks at the start of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the Prime Minister said: "I’m delighted to welcome everybody here to the United Kingdom to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Nato.
"I do feel that our alliance is coming home because Britain was a founding member of Nato and it was here that Nato opened its first headquarters, of course, in Belgrave Square, shortly actually before moving to Paris."
He went on: "70 years on, we are rock solid in our commitments to Nato and to the giant shield of solidarity that now protect 29 countries and nearly a billion people.
"The fact that we live in peace today demonstrates the power of the simple proposition at the heart of this alliance: that for as long as we stand together, no-one can hope to defeat us, and therefore no-one will start a war."
Mr Johnson continued: "History shows that peace cannot be taken for granted, and even as we celebrate this anniversary we must ensure that our deeds match our words.
"The atrocity in London last Friday shows why we must work together to combat terrorism and the vital importance of Nato’s missions to counter this threat.
"For the UK’s part, we spend over 2% of our GDP on defence, we are proud to be making the biggest contribution of any European ally to Nato’s readiness initiative by offering an armoured brigade, two fighter squadrons and six warships – including the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
"As friends and allies, we must never shy away from discussing new realities – particularly Nato’s response to emerging threats like hybrid warfare and disruptive technologies, including space and cyber.
"At this council, we have the opportunity to strengthen the unity of purpose that has made Nato the greatest and most successful alliance in history, and to take the new steps that are profoundly necessary to ensure another 70 years of peace and security."
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump shake hands
Boris Johnson welcomed Donald Trump onto the stage in Watford.
The world leaders will talk today behind closed doors.
Watch it here:
Donald Trump joins Boris Johnson on stage at the start of the Nato summit in Hertfordshirehttps://t.co/OAKmLQ4Dhi pic.twitter.com/Uijvg7Xioh
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 4, 2019
Turkey defence differences can be ironed out, Nato General Secretary says
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has said he is confident differences with Turkey over a new alliance defence plan to protect the Baltic states and Poland can be resolved.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to block the plan after criticism of Turkey’s incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria.
But arriving for a meeting of alliance leaders near Watford, Mr Stoltenberg said: "I am confident that we will find a solution to the updating of the revised defence plan."
He said Nato leaders would for the first time discuss the rise of China, which was now the world’s second biggest spender on defence.
"This provides opportunities and also challenges," he said.
Barry Gardiner suggests Nato has not been on the right side of history
Touching on the British political landscape, shadow international development secretary Barry Gardiner has warned against interventions in foreign conflicts by saying "you don’t start bombing before you started thinking".
You can stay on top of the general election latest news in our politics liveblog here.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Gardiner insisted Labour is "committed to Nato," when asked if the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn supported the alliance.
Asked to confirm Mr Corbyn’s own views, Mr Gardiner added: "You want to personalise things, I want to talk about policy, I want to talk about what’s in our manifesto."
"If you look at the Iraq war, who was on the right side of history in that? Jeremy Corbyn was"@BarryGardiner says the Labour leader was right to oppose the Iraq invasion – but that he is committed to NATO#r4today | https://t.co/i8Vw2hkZtt | @JustinOnWeb pic.twitter.com/c4M8LGLezw
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 4, 2019
He continued: "The way you defend this country is by ensuring that you don’t go on foreign wars, you don’t start bombing before you started thinking.
"Consistently, if you look at the Iraq war, who was on the right side of history about that? Jeremy Corbyn was, not the president at the time, and indeed not the Labour Party at the time under Tony Blair.
"But all of Parliament went into that, Jeremy Corbyn did not."
Boris Johnson plays down Nato divisions
Boris Johnson has played down divisions in Nato amid differences over Turkey’s incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria.
Arriving for the 70th anniversary meeting of Nato leaders near Watford, Mr Johnson said Britain’s commitment to the alliance remained "rock solid".
"Clearly it is very important that the alliance stays together, but there is far, far more that unites us than divides us," he said.
Mr Johnson said he had a "very good" bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening.
"We discussed the future of Nato, we discussed what is going on in Syria and various other matters," he said.
Procession of world leaders welcomed to the stage in Watford
Anyone who has had to endure a university graduation ceremony might be getting flashbacks.
World leaders, one by one, are being welcomed to the stage.
They shake hands with Boris Johnson, shake hands with Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, pose for a photograph, and make their way off stage.
So while this goes on, let’s catch up with the news lines to come out overnight and this morning.
Donald Trump arrives in Watford for day two of Nato summit
The US President has landed.
US President Donald Trump has arrived at a #NATO summit in Hertfordshire.
The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, and has been notable for a few frosty meetings between leaders.
Latest here: https://t.co/ymH7LTKmbP pic.twitter.com/MdiUEKRo2Y
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 4, 2019
Flying in on board Marine One – the presidential helicopter – he landed just before 9.30am.
Nato summit day one catch-up
If you missed yesterday’s events, well, you missed a lot. You can catch up with the blow-by-blow account here.
But, in short:
- World leaders were hosted at Buckingham Palace event by the Queen
- Prince Andrew ‘a very tough story’, Donald Trump said
- Trump on Corbyn: ‘I know nothing about him, honestly’
- US wants ‘nothing to do’ with NHS, the President insisted
- ‘We’d be in World War Three if it weren’t for me,’ Trump said
- Macron’s ‘Nato is brain dead’ comments were ‘very disrespectful’, US President said
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