National / Politics

Trump to Abe: ‘I can send you 25 million Mexicans’

AFP-JIJI

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with an offer to ship 25 million Mexicans to Japan, one of a series of bizarre statements that jarred his fellow leaders at last week’s acrimonious Group of Seven summit, a report said Friday.

The G7 gathering of top industrialized democracies ended in disarray after the U.S. president abruptly rejected its consensus statement and bitterly attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Behind the scenes, Trump’s counterparts were dismayed by verbal jabs on topics ranging from trade to terrorism and migration, The Wall Street Journal said, quoting European officials who were present.

At one point, he described migration as a big problem for Europe, before telling Abe: “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon.” The jab created a sense of irritation in the room, an EU official said.

The source added that when the topic turned to Iran and terrorism, Trump took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron, saying: “You must know about this, Emmanuel, because all the terrorists are in Paris.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also came under fire and was repeatedly described by Trump as a “brutal killer” in reference to the bloc’s billions of dollars in antitrust and tax fines against U.S. tech companies.

But bitter differences over trade dominated the summit, hosted by Canada, with leaders of the world’s largest economies lining up against Trump’s threats to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

After rejecting the joint statement, Trump and his top aides assailed Trudeau, accusing him of dishonesty and betrayal.

Trump on Friday rejected reports of discord, blaming the “Fake News Media” on Twitter for portraying a false picture while posting several photos of himself appearing to get along well with his fellow leaders.