WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump Dow Jones industrial erroneously blamed Canada for the burning of the White House in the War of 1812 during a recent telephonic talk with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a media report.
“Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Trump reportedly asked Trudeau when the US president called the latter to discuss the administration’s tariffs in Canadian steel and aluminum imports, CNN reported yesterday.
Trump made the erroneous historical reference during the call with Trudeau on May 25, the network quoted sources familiar with the discussion as saying.
According to the sources, Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a “national security” issue.
In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812.
The problem with Trump’s comments to Trudeau is that British troops burned down the White House in 1814 during the War of 1812, the report said.
Historians note the British attack on Washington was in retaliation for the American attack on York, Ontario, in territory that eventually became Canada, which was then a British colony.
“His (Trump’s) statement was completely inaccurate,” said Major Tanya Grodzinski, an associate history professor at the Royal Military College of Canada.
“This was exclusively a British operation,” Grodzinski said of the occupation of Washington.
“There were no Canadian troops involved whatsoever,” Grodzinski said as she reacted to the CNN report.
“To claim that some incident from 200 years ago is the rationale behind the tariffs is completely unjustified, and it makes me question the basis of his policy and if there’s any thought to it whatsoever,” Grodzinski said.
British troops led by Maj Gen Robert Ross attacked and burned public buildings including the Capitol, Washington Navy Yard and the president’s mansion during the conflict.
It was the only time that a foreign power has captured and occupied Washington, the BBC noted.
This article provided by NewsEdge.