Trudeau, Macron, Johnson and Princess Anne appear to gossip about Trump at NATO summit

It would seem not even world leaders are averse to a bit of playground-style gossip about their colleagues.

The ongoing NATO summit in London has been notable for a few frosty meetings between the prime ministers and presidents who have gathered, notably between Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Now Mr Macron, who riled Mr Trump by describing NATO as suffering from strategic “brain death”, appears to have been caught on camera gossiping about an unnamed associate with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

NATO leaders
Image: NATO leaders have gathered in London this week

During footage from a reception at Buckingham Palace, the pair are seen chatting with Boris Johnson and the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and can be heard joking about a “40 minute press conference” that had run late.

When Mr Johnson asks Mr Macron “is that why you were late?”, Mr Trudeau replies “he’s late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top” – seemingly a reference to the Macron-Trump meeting earlier in the day.

Princess Anne is also seen on the fringes of the conversation, which appeared to show Mr Trudeau making another cheeky remark about the press conference.

He tells his fellow leaders: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

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Mr Trump certainly made his presence felt in London during several media briefings on Tuesday, not just in his tense appearance alongside Mr Macron.

The US president used a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to say he would not be offering any comment on the UK general election – only to then immediately do just that.

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Mr Trump said: “I’ll stay out of the election. I’m a fan of Brexit, I called it. I was here, they asked if it was going to happen and I said yes and they smiled, it was just my opinion.

“I’ll stay out of it, but Boris is very capable and I think he will do a good job.”

Mr Trump and his fellow leaders capped off the day by marking the 70th anniversary of NATO at Buckingham Palace, where they posed for a traditional group photo alongside the Queen.

Donald Trump attends a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
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Donald Trump arrived for the summit on the Marine One helicopter
Image: Donald Trump arrived for the summit on the Marine One helicopter

On Wednesday, Mr Johnson will address leaders from all 29 member states at The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire.

Upon his arrival at the venue, Mr Macron said he did not regret saying NATO was experiencing “brain death” because it had spurred the right kind of debate about the direction of the alliance.

He told reporters that the remark “allowed us to raise some crucial debates”.

French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his comment that NATO was experiencing 'brain death'
Image: French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his comment that NATO was experiencing ‘brain death’

Boris Johnson will appeal for unity in his speech to NATO leaders
Image: Boris Johnson will appeal for unity in his speech to NATO leaders

Mr Johnson will use a speech at the summit to attempt to bring harmony to the top of the alliance by echoing a famous phrase from the classic French adventure story The Three Musketeers, reminding colleagues that it is “one for all, and all for one” in the quest to keep their people safe.

The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after NATO last month declared they were among its operational domains alongside air, land and sea.

In his opening address, Mr Johnson said members were “rock solid in our commitment to NATO” and that leaders had the opportunity to “strengthen the unity of purpose” of the alliance.

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