WASHINGTON—A senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump has apologized for saying there is a “special place in hell” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s top advisers on trade, drew condemnation across U.S. and Canadian party lines for a series of disparaging remarks about Trudeau in a Sunday interview on Fox News.
The vitriol toward the leader of an allied democracy were unprecedented coming from an unelected aide to the president.
“My job, my mission, was to send a very strong signal of strength. And this was particularly important on the eve of a far more important summit, in Korea. And the problem is, in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message,” Navarro said at a Tuesday conference in Washington hosted by the Wall Street Journal. “I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words.
“When you make a mistake, you should admit it, learn from it, don’t repeat it,” Navarro said. Asked if he was apologizing to Trudeau, Navarro said, “Yeah, absolutely.”
He did not mention Trudeau’s name himself or directly address the prime minister.
Navarro said on Fox that his words came “straight from Air Force One.” He delivered them the day after Trump himself criticized Trudeau and shortly after Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, insulted Trudeau himself.
The insults were supposedly a response to the post-G7 news conference in which Trudeau repeated his diplomatic criticism of Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs and said he would stand up for Canadians.