As dignitaries and world leaders milled around Buckingham Palace on Tuesday at a NATO summit reception, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron chatted in a loose circle .
Snippets of their conversation rose above the din and were captured in ashort videothat went viral late Tuesday after viewers surmised that the group appeared to be joking about President Trump’s performance earlier in the day.
“Is that why you were late?” A smiling Johnson asks Macron in the 25 – second clipfirst sharedby the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“He was late because he takes a 40 – minute press conference off the top, ”Trudeau chimes in.
Hours before the reception, Trump had turned what were “expected to be brief photo opportunities” with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Macron and Trudeau into “his own personal daytime cable show,” as The Washington Postreported. During the one-on-one meetings, Trump clashed with Macron and needled Trudeau over Canada’s NATO spending.
“Trump pronounced, prodded and pushed America’s allies into a state of unbalance – seizing the global stage to both bully and banter, all while keeping himself at the center of attention, ”The Post’s Ashley Parker, Philip Rucker and Michael Birnbaum wrote, noting that the three impromptu news conferences ended up spanning two hours.
At the Tuesday evening reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II inside the palace’s Green Drawing Room, none of the three leaders – who appeared not to know they were on camera – mentioned Trump by name.
After Trudeau’s comments, Macron can be seen replying inaudibly and gesturing.
“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” an animated Trudeau later tells the group.
Suggestions that Trump’s behavior was the subject of the leaders’ conversation sparked pointed comme ntary and derision on social media. By early Wednesday the video, whichreportedlycame from a CBC journalist who caught the moment on a TV pool feed, had been watched roughly 4 million times .
“Can’t get over this video, both for the fact that POTUS hates the thought of anyone laughing at him and for the fact that he long used ‘other countries are laughing at us ‘as an attack against his predecessors, ”New York Times reporter Maggie Habermantweeted.