WASHINGTON — White House trade adviser Peter Navarro today walked back his comments over the weekend saying that there was a “special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, acknowledging that his language was “inappropriate.”
“Let me correct a mistake I made,” Navarro said at a conference in Washington hosted by The Wall Street Journal.
“My mission was to send a strong signal of strength,” he said, according to the Journal. “The problem is that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.”
Navarro exacerbated bilateral tensions between the U.S. and Canada on Sunday when he criticized Trudeau for double-crossing President Donald Trump. Navarros comments came after Trudeau said Canada would push back on tariffs that Trump plans to impose on Canadian steel and aluminum.
“Theres a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” Navarro told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “And thats what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”
Navarro said Sunday that his sentiment came “right from Air Force One.”
But today he apologized for using language that counteracted his goal of sending a signal of strength.
“In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message,” he said, according to the Journal. “I own that, that was my mistake, my words.”