News & Politics

Trump Asked Trudeau to Answer for War of 1812 in Trade Spat: 'Didn't You Guys Burn Down the White House?'

This inaccurate reference is to an incident involving British troops.

Photo Credit: CBC News

President Donald Trump had an embarrassing phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 25 about steel and aluminum import tariffs that found Trump accusing Canada of burning down the White House in 1812.

The exchange occurred when Trudeau requested justification for the stated "national security" interests of tariffs on Canada, since the nation is among the closest and most reliable U.S. allies.

Trump shot back, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?"

This inaccurate reference is to an incident during the War of 1812, when British troops burned down the White House, as the Ontario region was then a British colony.

At no point did any Canadian burn down the White House.

This is just the latest example of a bumbling president who misunderstands the most basic points of American history.

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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.