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White House trade adviser apologizes for saying there was a 'special place in hell' for Trudeau

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologized for his comment about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on "Fox News Sunday." When Trudeau announced that Canada would be slapping "equivalent tariffs" on the U.S., Navarro said that there was a "special place in hell" for Trudeau and any other foreign leaders who engaged in "bad-faith diplomacy" with Trump.(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has apologized for saying that there was a “special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after Trudeau announced that Canada would be slapping “equivalent tariffs" on the United States. Navarro admitted that his comments were a “mistake.”

Let's follow the timeline: What did Trudeau say?

After the G-7 summit, Trudeau hosted a news conference where he said that the Canadian government “did not take” the U.S. tariffs against Canada lightly. He also said that it was “kind of insulting” that Trump used national security to justify the tariffs against a longtime ally, and announced that Canada would be implementing “equivalent tariffs” on July 1.

What did Navarro say initially?

On “Fox New Sunday,” Navarro told viewers:

There’s 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. And that’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.

What did Navarro say Tuesday?

On Tuesday, at the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network conference in Washington D.C., Navarro said:

So, let me correct a mistake I made last Sunday. The day before, on Saturday, at the end of what was a very successful and friendly G7 summit, shortly after Air Force One and the president left Canadian airspace, the prime minister of Canada held a press conference that this administration viewed as a breach of protocol, and inappropriate.

Next morning on Fox News, my job, my mission, was to send a very strong signal of strength, and this was particularly important on the eve of a far more important summit in Korea. And the problem is that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message. I own that, that was my mistake, my words. And, if I may quote the words of the great Bear Bryant, “when you make a mistake you should admit it, learn from it, don't repeat it.”

Asked if he was apologizing, Navarro said “yeah, absolutely. ... What I've learned from this is simply that, particularly in my role, as a presidential adviser, that what we need to do, and what I need to do, is seriously focus on the serious policy differences and issues."

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