White House Director of the National Trade Council Peter Navarro apologized Tuesday for saying there was a "special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he conducted perceived "bad faith diplomacy" with President Donald Trump.
"My job was to send a signal of strength. The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate," Navaro said at a conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported.
"I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words," Navarro said.
On "Fox News Sunday," Navarro said, "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader who engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab them in the back on the way out the door, and that's what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference."
Navarro's comment followed Trudeau's press conference at the G7 (Group of Seven) summit in Canada where the prime minister said Canada will "move forward with retaliatory measures" in response to Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union, and Mexico.
Trump said on Twitter he found Trudeau's complaints about the new tariffs to be dishonest, and he explained the tariffs were in response to Canadian tariffs on dairy.
"PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting' and he ‘will not be pushed around.' Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!" Trump tweeted Saturday.
PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, "US Tariffs were kind of insulting" and he "will not be pushed around." Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
The explanation conflicted with Trump's justification of levying the tariffs via Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, where he claimed that foreign steel and aluminum constitute a national security threat to the United States.