Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada was lost for words when asked about the riots in the U.S.
It took 21 seconds for Trudeau to gather his thoughts when he was asked Tuesday (June 2) about U.S. President Donald Trump possibly calling in the military to quell protests.
“We all watch in horror and consternation at what is going on the United States,” Trudeau eventually said.
“It is a time to pull people together. It is a time to listen, to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades,” Trudeau also said.
Trudeau talked about the need to fight racism in Canada.
The prime minister has stayed on this message since the killing of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis on May 25 in a police interaction sparked unrest in cities across the U.S.
“My job as a Canadian prime minister is to stand up for Canadians,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s re-election campaign was almost derailed last September after pictures of him in blackface from years earlier emerged.
Four police officers in Minneapolis are facing criminal charges in the death of Floyd.
Floyd was pinned to the ground, and police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on the man’s neck.
At no point did Trudeau mention Trump by name or criticize his handling of the situation.
Trump has warned that if governors don’t deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to “dominate the streets,” the military would step in to “quickly solve the problem for them.”
When asked again why he did not want to directly address Trump’s actions, Trudeau said his job as prime minister is to focus on Canadians.
“Canadians need a government that will be there for them, that will support them and that will move us forward in the right direction, and I will do that,” Trudeau said.