(CNN)President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a testy phone call on May 25 over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, including one moment during the conversation in which Trump made an erroneous historical reference, sources familiar with the discussion told CNN.
According to the sources, Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a “national security” issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812.
The problem with Trump’s comments to Trudeau is that British troops burned down the White House during the War of 1812. Historians note the British attack on Washington was in retaliation for the American attack on York, Ontario, in territory that eventually became Canada, which was then a British colony.
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WNU Editor: Prime Minister Trudeau’s office is now calling all of this a joke …. that the call was not testy and that President Trump was making a joke when referring to 1812 (see link here). But the damage has already been done …. that this leak to CNN from the Prime Minister Trudeau’s office was done deliberately to embarrass the President, and I am sure the President Trump now knows that.
Update: Yup …. I would not call it a smart move …. How insanely stupid is Justin Trudeau’s team? (Brian Lilly)
Update #2: Payback is going to be a bitch …. White House considers more economic penalties against Canada: report (The Hill)
Trump asks if Canada burnt down White House in call with PM — BBC
CNN: Trump joked about Canada burning White House in War of 1812 in call with Trudeau –– USA Today
G7 Summit Off to a Great Start as Trump Accuses Canada of Burning Down the White House — Vanity Fair
Trump Defends Tariffs To Trudeau: ‘Didn’t You Guys Burn Down The White House?’ — TPM
Donald Trump Said a Very Dumb Thing to Justin Trudeau — VICE