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Trump likely 'taking names' on Biden congrats after Trudeau outreach: expert

Last Updated Nov 10, 2020 at 3:58 pm EDT

OTTAWA — The current president of the United States has warranted nary a mention from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since Democrat Joe Biden became president-elect on Saturday.

While that might be setting Trudeau and Canada up for some retaliatory pain from Donald Trump, analysts are divided on how much misery even a very vindictive lame-duck president could inflict on his closest neighbour. 

On Monday, Trudeau became the first international leader to speak to Biden, following his swift congratulations to the former American vice-president and his running mate Kamala Harris on Saturday.

The prime minister office released a statement congratulating Biden within 45 minutes of multiple news outlets’ calling the Democrat’s pivotal victory in Pennsylvania. 

Bessma Momani, an international-affairs expert at the University of Waterloo, says Trump is likely keeping track of who is congratulating Biden, and there’s no ruling out that Trump could find a way to retaliate against Canada in his remaining time in the Oval Office.

But Sarah Goldfeder, a former U.S. diplomat who is now an Ottawa-based consultant, says Trump is likely not preoccupied with foreign opinions of him, and will turn his remaining days in office to making life miserable for his political opponents within the U.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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