Recently, Donald Trump did something not at all unusual for him. He made a bad policy decision. This time it’s one that might start a global trade war, because that’s the sort of thing that tends to happen when you just up and decide one day that you’re slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum that comes from countries you’re friendly with.
But then he did something that is unusual. For what may be the first time since he took power, he reportedly tried to justify his poor decision making with something approaching a verifiable fact.
Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau held a tense telephone call last month over the U.S. president’s decision to slap Canada with steep tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Trump mentioned the burning of the White House during the War of 1812 during the confrontational May 25 call, which was first reported by CNN and confirmed by CBC News.
Trudeau reportedly asked Trump how tariffs could be imposed on Canada on “national security” grounds. Trump reportedly responded: “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?”
It’s not clear if Trump was attempting to inject humour into a discussion on a topic that could have serious economic repercussions.
British troops burned down the White House in 1814 during the War of 1812, in retaliation for an American attack on York, Ont., a British colony at the time.
If this wasn’t Trump and he and his people didn’t have a track record, humour might be a possibility. But this is Trump and they do have a track record (the Bowling Green Massacre, whatever the hell happened in Sweden and on and on and on), so I’m not buying it. But hey, good on ya for not just making stuff up like usual, Don boy.