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Trump abruptly cancels NATO press conference after summit turns sour

Key Points
  • "When today's meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won't be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!" Trump tweeted.

US President Donald Trump (L) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) pose for the family photo at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford, northeast of London on December 4, 2019.
Peter Nicholls | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly canceled a press conference that was scheduled to cap a contentious trip to London for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 70th anniversary meeting.

The presser was scheduled to come after a series of bilateral meetings with NATO members, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

"When today's meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington," Trump said in a series of tweets.

"We won't be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!" Trump said.

Hours before the press conference was set to start, video emerged of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caught on a hot mic apparently mocking Trump.

VIDEO1:1301:13
Watch Trudeau, Macron and Johnson appear to gossip about Trump on hot mic

Trump offered a blunt retort when asked Wednesday about Trudeau's comments.

"He's two-faced," Trump said, before adding, "I find him to be a very nice guy but the truth is I called him out on the fact that he's not paying 2% and I guess he's not very happy about it."

Trump has long griped about NATO members paying less than their "fair share" toward the alliance, and brought up the issue repeatedly over the two-day anniversary meeting this week.

Trudeau, speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Trump "was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."

None of the politicians in the hot-mic video, which emerged on social media Tuesday evening, mentioned Trump by name. But it's widely speculated — and Trump's recent comments appear to confirm — that Trudeau and the other world leaders were discussing the U.S. president's 53-minute press conference with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

"You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor," Trudeau said at another point in the video, raising his eyebrows and motioning with his hand for effect.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

source: CNBC

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