If the Republican donors at Wednesday's fundraiser in Missouri for Senate candidate Josh Hawley paid to hear President Trump complain bitterly about close allies, discuss Japan dropping bowling balls on cars, brag about his presidency, and take credit for a Democratic win in Pennsylvania, they got their money's worth, according to audio of the closed-door event obtained by The Washington Post. If they wanted to hear Trump talk about Hawley, tough luck.
Trump reportedly focused on trade for much of the 30-minute speech, going full protectionist. He mocked politicians who support NAFTA, arguing that Mexico is "spoiled," Canada was outsmarting the U.S., and "the best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal." Trump said if countries want exemptions from his trade tariffs, they have to negotiate directly with him, then he told this story of negotiating with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
"Trudeau came to see me. He's a good guy, Justin. He said, 'No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,'" Trump said, mimicking Trudeau. ... "So he's proud. I said, 'Wrong Justin, you do.' I didn't even know. ... I had no idea. I just said 'You're wrong.' You know why? Because we're so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, 'You're wrong Justin.' He said, 'Nope we have no trade deficit.' I said, 'Well in that case I feel differently,' I said 'but I don't believe it.' I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said 'check because I can't believe it.' 'Well, sir, you're actually right. We have no deficit but that doesn't include energy and timber … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.' It's incredible." [The Washington Post]
"The United States trade representative office says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada," the Post notes. Read more about Trump's speech at The Washington Post.