White House trade adviser apologizes to Canadian PM

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologizes for saying "there's a special place in hell" for Trudeau.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau
Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologized on Tuesday after saying "there's a special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"In conveying that message, I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message," Navarro said at the Wall Street Journal's annual CFO Network conference, according to CNN.

"I own that. That was my mistake, those were my words," he added.

On Sunday, following the G7 summit in Quebec, Navarro told Fox News that "there's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door."

He added, "Those are my words, but they're the sentiment that was on Air Force One after that."

Navarro's comments came following a spat between Trump and Trudeau after the Canadian Prime Minister announced that Canada would impose retaliatory measures to answer Trump's tariffs and warned that Canada would not be "pushed around."

Trump fired back at Trudeau with an early morning tweet Sunday, calling Trudeau’s suggestion that American trade policy constituted a form of aggression against Canada “false statements”, and accused Canada of maintaining its own high tariffs on US agricultural products.

“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” he wrote.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, echoed Navarro during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, saying that Trudeau's comments amounted to a "betrayal."

Navarro's remarks brought swift criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told CNN on Monday that Navarro "should have kept his big mouth shut because I don't think that helps us inform policy and I think frankly it was out of line."

"It's an awful way to treat your allies," said Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), adding that he doesn't believe he's "ever seen a statement like that against any of our worst enemies, let alone our allies."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also weighed in and told CNN that he doesn't think anyone should be "using overheated rhetoric."