Can Joe Biden speak French? President tells Justin Trudeau he studied it for 5 years in 1st bilateral meeting

On Tuesday, remarks made by the two before the virtual meeting were anything but cold as Biden and Trudeau renewed the bilateral bond between the two countries


                            Can Joe Biden speak French? President tells Justin Trudeau he studied it for 5 years in 1st bilateral meeting
U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver opening statements via video link in the East Room of the White House February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

On Tuesday, February 23, US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with each other after the Democrat took over the office on January 20. It was the first virtual meeting of Biden with Trudeau after former president Donald Trump reportedly damaged the relationship between the two countries by calling the 49-year-old “two-faced,” “weak” and “dishonest”.

But on Tuesday, remarks made by the two before the virtual bilateral meeting were anything but cold as Biden told Trudeau as reported by The White House briefing room, “The United States has no closer friend than Canada. We’re all best served when the United States and Canada work together and lead together.” To which, the Canadian leader responded, “U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the past years.”

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Unlike other times, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the politicians met virtually instead of meeting in the Oval Office, where cameras would have caught them seated next to each other. In the White House’s Roosevelt Room, Biden was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, and the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. Greeting the new president, Trudeau said, “It’s so good to see you, Joe. And it’s such a great opportunity for us to — to sit down and talk not just about this extraordinary friendship between our two countries, but all the work we have to do together to get through COVID, but also to keep making sure we’re — we’re pulling our weight around the world and making the world a better and safer place for everyone — not just with this pandemic, but with everything else as well.”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (L), and President Joe Biden participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

The meeting also took a lighter turn when Biden said, “my Vice President spent some time living up in Montreal for high school. And so our channel of communication is — are wide open.” Also given the fact that French is spoken in Canada, the 78-year-old also showed his connection with the language as he joked, “Mr. Prime Minister, I took five years of French in school and college, as well.  And when I — every time I tried to speak it, I’d make such a fool of myself, I stopped trying. At least when I try Spanish and I make a fool of myself, they laugh with me.” In the end, Biden also tried to say good-bye to his counterpart in not-so fluent French as he said, "au revoir."

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and National Security Council Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez, participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

The president also shared about the meeting on his Twitter page, where he wrote, “I just met with Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau – my first bilateral meeting as president. Tune in as we discuss the meeting and how we’ll tackle the shared challenges we face.” Several people reacted to the meeting on Twitter as one said, “With all due respect Mr. president, but can’t you ever deliver a speech or part of a speech without a teleprompter? This scripted format takes a lot from the genuineness intended. Just a suggestion out of respect.” The second one wrote, “Two leaders who know what they're doing and know they're working for the people and NOT their friends!” “A great speech by President #JoeBiden putting important issues in bilateral relations and in turn highlighting the interests of the United States under his government. The closeness of the Prime Minister is evident in many aspects and a strengthening of relations is evident,” another one added.



 



 



 



 

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