Trudeau Blasts Trump’s Role in Inciting ‘Horrifying’ U.S. Riot
(Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting his followers to mount a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol this week.
“What we witnessed was an assault on democracy by violent rioters, incited by the current president and other politicians,” Trudeau told reporters Friday in Ottawa. “Violence has no place in our societies and extremists will not succeed in overruling the will of the people.”
Trudeau’s rebuke comes two days after pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol building in Washington, disrupting Congress’s count of Electoral College votes -- a scene the prime minister described as “horrifying.” U.S. lawmakers are now pushing for Trump to be impeached, even as his term enters its final days.
“As shocking, deeply disturbing and frankly saddening as that event remains, we’ve also seen this week that democracy is resilient in America, our closest ally and neighbor,” he added.
Trudeau stopped short of making such pointed remarks in the immediate aftermath of the riots, saying Wednesday Canadian officials “hope things will calm down.”
Protests and Outbursts
Grappling with Trump’s erratic behavior and policies has been a constant challenge for the Canadian leader. Last June, Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before answering a question on the U.S. president’s decision to call on the military to quell protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality.
In 2018, Trump blew apart a carefully crafted effort at unity among major economic powers by excoriating the prime minister via posts to Twitter from Air Force One as the president departed the Group of Seven summit in Quebec. Despite such outbursts, Canada was able to successfully renegotiate its continental free-trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico.
“Throughout the past four years, we’ve learned as a country -- and indeed as a world -- that the Trump administration was unpredictable and posed certain challenges,” Trudeau said Friday.
“My focus has always been and will always be how to make sure Canadians are best represented, best defended and best supported as we move through this world,” he said. “That’s what we’ve done with this administration and what I am very much looking forward to doing with President Biden as of a couple of weeks from now.”
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