WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he was "surprised" to hear of Justin Trudeau's blackface scandal and was even "more surprised" when he learned that there were multiple instances of the Canadian prime minister darkening his face.
Trump told reporters Friday he was hoping he wouldn't be asked about the controversy, which has added to Trudeau's already dicey prospects for reelection next month.
"I'm surprised," Trump said, "and I was more surprised when I saw the number of times."
Trudeau has repeatedly apologized.
“What I did was hurtful to people who live with intolerance and discrimination every day. I recognize that, and I take full responsibility for it. I know that I let a lot of people down with that choice, and I am deeply sorry," he said in a tweet on Thursday.
Trump and Trudeau have had a rocky relationship, complicated by U.S. efforts to renegotiate the terms of trade with its northern neighbor. Those tensions splashed into world view last year after the G-7 meeting in Quebec when Trump slammed Trudeau after the Canadian leader said his country wouldn't be "pushed around" by the U.S.
Trump denied any acrimony with Trudeau on Friday.
"I've always had a good relationship with Justin,” he said. "I just don't know what to tell you. I was surprised by it, actually."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump: Canada's Justin Trudeau blackface scandal a 'surprise'