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Trudeau: Trump's tweets cause 'wrinkles in international diplomacy'

Justin Trudeau is pictured. | Getty

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Twitter was not the best method to communicate with his fellow Canadians, saying he prefers in-person conversations. | Getty

By Diamond Naga Siu

06/22/2017 04:16 PM EDT

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday there is no question that President Donald Trump’s Twitter habits present a “new wrinkle in international diplomacy.”

During an open forum with New York Times Toronto bureau chief Catherine Porter and White House correspondent Peter Baker, Trudeau quipped that he focuses on more important things than reading Trump’s tweets in bed and opts to hear about them during his morning briefing instead.

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“If I get woken up at night for something, it better be something more important than a tweet,” Trudeau said to laughter. “I think modern means of communications have led to adjustments in how we function.”

But he acknowledged that Trump’s online communication should be treated seriously.

“Anything that the president of the United States says in any forum is worthy of noting, of placing into context,” Trudeau said. “I understand the power of a genuine, authentic voice, where people in this society appreciate being able to directly hear and see and learn what someone thinks in a less filtered way.”

Since assuming the presidency, Trump has tweeted about Canada four times, first about meeting Trudeau on Feb. 13 and then mentioning the country while describing a book.

However, his third tweet about the U.S. neighbor was more combative, saying on April 25 that Canada made business difficult for dairy farmers by the U.S.-Canada border, ending his message by saying, “We will not stand for this. Watch!” This came as Trump bashed the North American Free Trade Agreement, since among other factors, he said Canada’s lower dairy pricing took business away from U.S. states.

But two days later, Trump announced via another 140-character missive that he “received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate" and that he agreed to do so.

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Trump has gone after other countries, such as Cuba, China and North Korea, in harsher terms than his tweets about Canada. After former University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier was medically evacuated from North Korea while comatose, Trump tweeted twice about the country.

“The U.S. once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim,” Trump tweeted in the morning. “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!”

He also mentioned what he said was North Korea’s disrespect for China in tweets from April 28 and May 29 .

Trudeau said Twitter was not the best method to communicate with his


Obama says Senate health care bill has 'fundamental meanness'

Former President Barack Obama is pictured.

Former President Barack Obama defended his signature legislative achievement in a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday | Getty


Graphic: What the GOP's Senate health care bill does to Obamacare

GOP Senate Health Care Bill: What you need to know Health care

The Senate’s sweeping Obamacare repeal has the same overarching goals as the House-passed American Health Care Act, including an overhaul of Medicaid, striking many of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance regulations and coverage mandates and getting rid of Obamacare taxes. But the chambers diverge in some important ways. Here is a summary of key points:

What the Senate health care bill does to Obamacare:

Individual mandate eliminated
Cost-sharing subsidies eliminated
Planned Parenthood funding eliminated
Pre-existing conditions changed
Medicaid expansion changed
Traditional Medicaid changed
Insurance subsidies changed
Opioid funding changed

What is eliminated

Individual mandate

Requires everyone to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

Penalties for going without insurance would disappear.

Cost-sharing subsidies

The law provides payments to insurers to cover medical bills for most low-income customers on Obamacare’s marketplaces. Republicans say Congress never properly appropriated the payments, worth $7 billion this year.

The payments would be extended for two years before they are eliminated.

Planned Parenthood funding

There is no corresponding provision in the ACA.

The women’s health organization would be banned from the Medicaid program for one year.

What changed

Pre-existing conditions

Insurers are banned from charging people more or denying coverage based on an existing medical condition

That requirement remains. But states could waive other insurance rules that could weaken protections for medical conditions, such as the basic benefit package and the minimum payments insurers must make toward medical bills.

What changed from House: The House bill would have let states opt out of the requirement that insurers must charge everyone the same, regardless of pre-existing conditions.

Medicaid expansion

States were encouraged to expand their Medicaid programs and received enhanced federal payments to cover more people.

The Senate bill will gradually roll back enhanced federal funding over three years starting in 2021.

What changed from House: The rollback would begin in 2020 for people who come off the Medicaid rolls and new enrollees wouldn’t receive enhanced funding.

Traditional Medicaid

There is no corresponding provision in the ACA.

The Senate plan dramatically overhauls the traditional Medicaid program covering low-income kids, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities. Instead of receiving open-ended funding from the federal government, states will receive a set amount per enrollee and have new flexibility to run their programs. Certain vulnerable populations could be protected from the spending cap. States would have the option to add work requirements for able-bodied adults.

What changed from House: The Senate cuts Medicaid more deeply than the House bill. Starting in 2025, the Senate version uses a slower annual growth rate for payments made to states.

Insurance subsidies

The law subsidizes premiums on insurance marketplaces for people who don’t get coverage through work or qualify for other government programs. Income-based subsidies are available to people earning up to four times the federal poverty level.

Starting in 2020, eligibility


Trump tweets support for Senate Obamacare repeal bill

President Donald Trump is pictured.

"Remember, ObamaCare is dead," President Donald Trump tweeted. | Getty


Poll: Americans disapprove of House health care bill

Poll: Americans disapprove of House health care bill

Forty-eight percent of participants in the poll said they thought the House bill was a bad idea, while just 16 percent said it was a good idea. | Getty

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