OTTAWA — In the hellscape vortex of Twitter, Donald Trump and Ezra Levant’s worlds collided Sunday.
It happened after Levant, founder of Rebel Media and outspoken conservative commentator, criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s posture in a photo from the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
“Just look at this picture. Even a child would know who is in control,” wrote Levant.
The post found its way to the president of the United States, who seemingly disagreed with Levant’s characterization of the bilateral meeting.
After getting dunked by Trump, Rebel Media’s self-titled “commander” took the opportunity to thank POTUS for reviving the Keystone XL pipeline — before taking a dig at the CBC after getting mocked by “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” star Mark Critch.
Trudeau and Trump met on the sidelines of the G7 summit to further discuss the new North American trade deal set to replace NAFTA. Talks have continued between the two countries because only Mexico has ratified the deal.
The two leaders also talked about the detention of Canadians Michael Korvig and Michael Spavor in China, as well as the protests in Hong Kong, according to a readout of the two leaders’ meeting released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
On Monday, Trudeau downplayed suggestions of tense relations between the U.S. and other G7 countries, calling meetings “very productive.”
Many Canadian conservatives have distanced themselves from Rebel Media since the right-wing outlet’s controversial coverage of the violent “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. two years ago.
A woman was killed and almost 20 people were injured after neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. Fields Jr. was later sentenced to life in prison.
Rebel correspondent Faith Goldy was in Charlottesville at the time and was fired by Levant after making comments sympathetic to white supremacists on a Daily Stormer podcast.
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Goldy, who would later launch a mayoral bid in Toronto and find herself banned from Facebook for espousing hate, praised the “well thought out ideas” written in neo-Nazi leader Richard Spencer’s manifesto. Spencer was a key organizer of the racist rally that turned deadly.
Goldy’s comments prompted some Conservative MPs to draw the line with Rebel Media. Wellington—Halton Hills MP Michael Chong, who has accused the media organization of “spewing anti-Muslim and anti-semitic sentiments,” pledged to not do interviews with Levant’s outlet in the future.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who sat down for interviews with The Rebel in the past, did not immediately blacklist Rebel Media. Scheer told reporters at the time that he would refuse interview requests from Levant’s outline “as the editorial direction of that particular institution remains as it is.”
Scheer’s leadership campaign was managed by Hamish Marshall, a former board member of Rebel Media. Marshall, who is serving as the Conservative campaign manager this fall, told Maclean’s his role with the website was limited to technical services and that he “never had any involvement in any editorial or content decisions.”