World leaders caught on camera "mocking" Donald Trump at Palace reception

4 December 2019, 08:47

Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau have been caught on camera "gossiping" about Donald Trump at the reception at Buckingham Palace.

The world's top political leaders were invited to the Royal reception yesterday ahead of today's NATO meeting at The Grove in Watford.

In a huddle alongside Princess Anne and Boris Johnson, the French and Canadian presidents were caught discussing a '40-minute press conference'. President Trump was not mentioned by name but he had held a lengthy press conference with Mr Macron earlier that day.

Mr Johnson asks Mr Macron "is that why you were late?"

Justin Trudeau replies: "He's late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."

Later in the conversation, Mr Trudeau added: "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor."

World leaders were heard "gossiping" about Donald Trump
World leaders were heard "gossiping" about Donald Trump. Picture: Twitter / PnPCBC / Host Pool

It came after a diplomatic flare-up between Mr Macron and Mr Trump threatened to overshadow the event.

The US president earlier denounced a remark by Mr Macron that the alliance was suffering from "brain death" as "very insulting" to other member states.

But when the two men met later at the US ambassador's residence in London, Mr Trump acknowledged the need for greater "flexibility" in the way in which Nato responded to global threats.

Mr Macron in turn accepted the US had "over-invested" in the alliance for "decade after decade" - a long-standing gripe of the US leader.

Mr Macron's original comments were prompted by the Turkish offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria - regarded by most Nato members as key allies in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS).

He complained the US had effectively given the green light for the incursion - withdrawing its troops from the region - without any consultation with European allies, despite the wider consequences.

At a breakfast meeting with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Trump said it had been a "very, very nasty" statement by the French leader.