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Trump Peeved After His Off-the-Record Comments Leak

'Toronto Star' ran the remarks Friday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2018 11:48 AM CDT
In this Aug. 27, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump talks on the phone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – The Toronto Star proclaims them "secret bombshell remarks": off-the-record comments President Trump made about Canada in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday that were leaked to the Star. Per the leaked remarks published Friday, the president was discussing negotiations with Canada on a trade deal that could replace NAFTA and indicated an unwillingness to compromise, saying any deal would be "totally on our terms." He continued:

  • "Here's the problem. If I say no—the answer's no. If I say no, then you're going to put that and it’s going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal ... I can't kill these people."
  • "Off the record, Canada's working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala," a reference to a car manufactured in Oshawa, Ontario.

Writing for the Star, Daniel Dale explained that while Bloomberg agreed to keep those remarks off the record, "the Star, which obtained the quotes from a source, is not bound by any promises Bloomberg made to the president, and it published the quotes after they became part of the critical negotiations." ABC News reports Trump confirmed the leak in both a tweet and while at an event Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina, saying: "I love Canada but they have taken advantage of our country for many years. ... I said off the record, off the record, I said something strong, that is my belief. ... When you say, 'off the record'—that is a very—it is not a legal term but it is a term of honor." He tweeted again Saturday morning:

  • "There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don't make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off..."
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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