08:34 GMT05 July 2020
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    Perhaps Trump’s attacks on the media are not entirely unjustified after all.

    In a violation of journalistic etiquette, off-the-record remarks made by US President Donald Trump regarding NAFTA talks during his recent interview with Bloomberg were almost immediately leaked to the Toronto Star and published.

    "Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED," Trump said in a tweet Friday.

    "Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!" Trump added, confirming the comments.

    ​During the interview with Bloomberg, Trump agreed to provide some "off the record" remarks regarding the ongoing NAFTA talks with Canada. In the comments, the US president confirmed he is not going to display flexibility in the negotiations and will only make a deal on Washington's terms.

    A possible deal on trade with Canada would be "totally on our terms," Trump said.

    According to The Toronto Star, Bloomberg agreed not to publish the comments.

    "Here's the problem. If I say no [the US will not compromise with Canada in the talks] — the answer's no. If I say no, then you're going to put that [in the story], 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," Trump said of the Canadian government, according to the report.

    However, the comments somehow became available to the Star, which apparently did not feel it was a party to the non-publishing agreement.

    The authenticity of the comments was indirectly proven by Trump's reaction, as well as by the fact that Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, who attended the interview, did not dispute the remarks reported by the Star.

    Needless to say, the comments made their way to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, Fox News reports. The Star contacted Trudeau's administration for comments, to which the Canadian team replied that it "saw [the comments] as confirmation of its suspicions that Trump's team has not been truly planning to compromise."

    "We will only sign a deal if it is a good deal for Canada," Trudeau's team commented. "Again, no deal is better than a bad deal for Canada and for Canadians, and that's exactly what we are remaining firm on."

    It remains unknown how exactly Trump's private comments became available to the Canadian newspaper. A Bloomberg spokesperson denied that the company had violated the agreement.

    "When we agree that something is off the record, we respect that," the spokesperson told Fox News.


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    negotiations, interview, comments, Toronto Star, Bloomberg, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Canada, United States
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