Updated: Dec 20, 2019
If you ever wondered what world leaders chat about in private, well here at NATO they’re gossiping about Trump.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was spotted in a video that leaked from the NATO summit currently happening in London. The video shows a group of world leaders - seemingly unaware that they are being recorded - apparently mocking American president Donald Trump and his habits during a gathering on Tuesday.
The group of chatting world leaders include Rutte, Princess Anne, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Macron can be heard asking why "you" were late. Trudeau responds: "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top." Trump is not mentioned by name, but both Trudeau and Macron met with Trump on Tuesday. The Canadian Prime Minister also said: "You just watch his team's jaws drop to the floor."
Macron can be seen animatedly participating in the discussion. Princess Anne also spoke. But both their statements are inaudible. Rutte stood silent.
Just before meetings began in London on Wednesday morning, Rutte said he expected the NATO leaders to resolve many of their “difficult issues”, according to news wire ANP.
He acknowledged having “long conversations” with several leaders, but said that airing grievances is the true “strength of this club.”
The Dutch Prime Minister expressed similar sentiments while discussing the spat between Macron and Trump during a panel on Tuesday. "We can have differences of opinion.
The worst thing we can do is not to discuss them because that would be the end of NATO." he said.
On Wednesday, Rutte also said he had already spoken with Trump about how “America remains an anchor in NATO,” and about increases in Dutch spending on the defense alliance, according to ANP. The Netherlands will increase its NATO contribution by five million euros per year beginning in 2021, Rutte said at the summit, wrote newspaper AD.
Being laughed at seems to be a sore point for Trump. During his 2016 presidential campaign he frequently said that "the world is laughing at us", referring to the United States. When he announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, he said: "We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. And they won't be. They won't be."
So far Trump has not responded to the video leaked from the NATO summit. His only tweet since the video leaked last night regarded a meeting he had with Johnson.