Trump sent the Canadian embassy a note joking that he hoped Trudeau wasn't 'the anti-Trump,' and the Canadian ambassador reportedly thought they were being pranked
- The Canadian ambassador to the US thought he was being pranked when President Donald Trump sent Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a note jokingly hoping Trudeau wasn't "the anti-Trump," Axios reported.
- In May 2017, Bloomberg's Businessweek Magazine featured Trudeau on their cover and called him "the anti-Trump."
- Sources familiar with the matter told Axios that Trump ripped the cover off the magazine, wrote, "Looking good! Hope it's not true!" in silver Sharpie pen, and mailed it to the Canadian embassy in Washington.
- One source told Axios Trump's note "was done in good fun and would be interpreted as positive outreach."
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The Canadian ambassador to the US thought Canada was being pranked when President Donald Trump sent Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a note jokingly hoping Trudeau wasn't "the anti-Trump," Axios reported on Sunday.
Sources familiar with the matter told Axios that when Bloomberg's Businessweek Magazine featured Trudeau on its cover and named him "the anti-Trump" in May of 2017, Trump ripped the cover off the magazine, wrote, "Looking good! Hope it's not true!" in silver Sharpie pen, and sent it to the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC.While Trump intended for the note to be a well-meaning and light-hearted joke, the Canadian ambassador initially thought someone was pranking the embassy and reached out to the White House to confirm it was real, sources told Axios.
One source told the outlet that while some White House staff suggested that the annotated cover wasn't the right way to correspond with a fellow world leader, they thought "it was done in good fun and would be interpreted as positive outreach."
Axios reported that Trump and Trudeau exchanged multiple handwritten notes - at least two written in Trump's trademark Sharpie - on the US-Canada trade relationship, among other topics.
The once amicable and calm relationship between the US and Canada was upended when Trump took office and attacked Canada's trade policies, enacted tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, and insisted on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In December of that year, Trump reportedly sent Trudeau a note lamenting the deficit in the trade of goods between the US and Canada, writing "not good!" in Sharpie.In response, Trudeau sent Trump documents from the office of the US Trade Representative in Trump's own administration proving that, at the time, the US held a $12.5 billion net surplus in the trade of goods and services with Canada, sources told Axios.
A Canadian official told Axios that "it is certainly true that there were disagreements between our 2 countries about the figures, and we repeatedly pointed to USTR and U.S. Commerce's own figures" and did not deny that Trump sent Trudeau the Bloomberg cover.
So per @jonathanvswan, Trump tore the cover off of this magazine, wrote "Looking good! Hope it's not true!" in silver sharpie, had it mailed to the Canadian embassy, and the Canadian ambassador thought it was a prank. Incredible. https://t.co/p8rlasEy2D pic.twitter.com/0YyCq1H5Gy- Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) August 12, 2019