June 16, 2017 8:04 pm
Updated: June 17, 2017 10:07 am

Does Justin Trudeau respect Donald Trump? ‘Of course,’ says the prime minister

Justin Trudeau skirted the question before eventually saying he "of course" respects U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Talking about U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to be pressed to say whether he respected and trusted the president.

“I think my job is to work with any president, and one always respects the office,” Trudeau said in an interview with Global National’s Vassy Kapelos.

Pressed to say whether he respected the person holding the Office of the President, Trudeau said, “Of course.”

READ MORE: As Trump withdraws, Trudeau and the rest of the G7 go their own way on climate change

Similarly, Trudeau skirted the question when asked immediately after, if he trusts Trump.

“You know what? I’m going to work with the president on what’s in the best interest of Canadians,” he said.

“And I trust him to be focused on what’s in the best interest of Americans.”

WATCH: ‘Certain amount of disagreement over Cuba’: Trudeau reacts to Trump’s Cuban rollback


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Trudeau sat down with Global News for a wide-ranging interview that will air Sunday morning on The West Block, in which he discussed both foreign and domestic affairs, including the state of the Senate and the country’s coffers.

Trudeau’s answer regarding respect for Trump, though perhaps not surprising – Canada depends heavily on the U.S. – is interesting given the fact Trudeau has rebuked a lot of what Trump stands for.

During the U.S. election campaign, for example, archived video of Trump speaking in a lewd and aggressive manner about women. Trudeau, meanwhile, describes himself proudly as a feminist and has taken a few steps forward on women’s issues.

WATCH: Trump expects to achieve ‘great things’ with Trudeau, says former PM Mulroney

There has been a question mark hanging over Canada-U.S. relations since Trump’s election last year.

Trump has talked about imposing border taxes and re-negotiating North American Free Trade Agreement, and lambasted Canadian supply management on dairy and targeted Canadian softwood lumber exports.

More recently, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement as Canada presses on, and Trudeau said he disagrees with hardening of relations with Cuba.

In a speech earlier this month outlining Canada’s foreign policy, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada could no longer depend on the United States to defend some of Canada’s core values – democracy and human rights among them.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump reaffirm Canada-U.S. relationship at G7 Summit

The minister announced to Canadians that Canada will step into the spotlight and lead on the world stage.

These statements were not necessarily meant to be jabs at Trump, said the prime minister.

“I think it’s a recognition that the United States is going through a moment where it’s turning inwards a little more,” Trudeau said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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