Trump sat down with reporters from Bloomberg News to discuss trade discussions with Canada.

The meeting was supposed to be off the record, meaning the content discussed during the meeting was not for publishing. The whole purpose of off the record meetings is to allow for candid discussion and background context, without providing content that’s directly printable.


Someone in the meeting, who, we know not, chose not to honor the “off the record” bit and passed Trump’s comments on to the Toronto Star, who then published the contents of the meeting.

It’s hard to be less professional than that, truly. But anyway, the Star claims the quotes published have “upended” negotiations between the two countries.

And given Trump’s bluntness, it’s not like he’s saying something off the record vastly different from what he says publicly. So I’m not entirely sure what they think they have to gain here.

From the Star:

High-stakes trade negotiations between Canada and the U.S. were dramatically upended on Friday morning by inflammatory secret remarks from President Donald Trump, after the remarks were obtained by the Toronto Star.

In remarks Trump wanted to be “off the record,” Trump told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday, according to a source, that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”

“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal … I can’t kill these people,” he said of the Canadian government.

In another remark he did not want published, Trump said, according to the source, that the possible deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” He suggested he was scaring the Canadians into submission by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs.

“Off the record, Canada’s working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala,” Trump said, according to the source. The Impala is produced at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

Trump wasn’t happy but said he’s used to it.

It’s not like Trump and Trudeau are on the best of terms anyway. Earlier this summer, Trump allegedly invoked the War of 1812 to suggest Canada was a national security threat (still hilarious).