Those 21 seconds spoke volumes and said a lot more than Trudeau's official response that came afterward. The uncomfortably long pause has gone viral around the world.
Source: CTV News
Trudeau was asked for his reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to use the military to suppress George Floyd protests while tear-gassing peaceful demonstrators near the White House so he could stage a Bible-holding photo-op outside a nearby church.
What made the question particularly daunting was the second part of reporter Tom Parry’s question: “If you don’t want to comment, what message do you think you are sending?”
Trudeau stared at the camera - and said nothing. The sign language interpreter folded her hands. Not a bird chirp could be heard.
Finally, Trudeau sought verbal refuge in acknowledging everybody has challenges with systemic discrimination, including Canada.
Now, there are only two ways to explain how a prime minister was caught flat-footed when asked for reaction to Trump's behaviour that has outraged the United States and is reverberating around the world.
Either his spin doctors had a huge fail before the briefing by neglecting to arm Trudeau for a question that was obviously going to be asked.
Or some genius in his communications army suggested the best escape from a no-win predicament was for the boss to simply stand at the podium for an uncomfortably long time while appearing to struggle for the right words.