Psst. Why Justin Trudeau was late

NATO Leaders' Meeting, London, United Kingdom - 3 and 4 December 2019 (NATO photo)

NATO leaders appear to gossip about President Trump in unguarded chat

Jill Lawless

Associated Press

WATFORD, England (AP) — While NATO leaders are professing unity as they gather for a summit near London, several seem to have been caught in an unguarded exchange on camera apparently gossiping about U.S. President Donald Trump's behavior.

In footage recorded during a reception in London at Buckingham Palace Tuesday evening, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain's Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

After Johnson asked Macron, "is that why you were late?" Trudeau could be heard saying "he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top." That appeared to be a reference to Trump's long and unscheduled question-and-answer session with journalists earlier Tuesday.

Trudeau also said: "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor."

Trump wasn't mentioned by name during the exchange.

Footage of the palace reception was recorded by a pool camera. The clip was posted online by Canadian broadcaster CBC and has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Canadian officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Trudeau spoke briefly to Trump as NATO leaders gathered for a summit Wednesday in Watford, outside London, and the two men shook hands.

Leaders of the 29 NATO states are marking the 70th anniversary of the military alliance — and trying to patch up differences over defense spending, the alliance's strategic direction and member nation Turkey's military action in northern Syria.

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