USA

Barack Obama endorses Justin Trudeau (again)

OTTAWA — Former U.S. President Barack Obama has tweeted his endorsement for Justin Trudeau in the closing days of a tight election campaign.

“Wishing my friend @JustinTrudeau the best in Canada’s upcoming election,” Obama shared on Thursday afternoon. “Justin has been an effective leader and strong voice for democratic values, and I’m proud of the work we did together.”

Trudeau responded by thanking his friend and added, “Progress is on the ballot — and we're going to keep fighting for it.”

The former president's tweet was immediately met with charges of election interference — a rebuke Obama also faced when he endorsed Trudeau in the final stretch of the 2019 federal election campaign.

Canada’s chief electoral officer at the time said the endorsement was not considered foreign interference under current law “so long as it was not paid for or the person making it did not receive any form of payment."

Trudeau is campaigning for a third term after calling an election last month in hopes of turning his minority government into a majority.

Voters head to the polls Monday, though nearly 5.8 million people have already cast their ballots at advance polling — an 18.5 percent increase from the 2019 election.

The Canadian prime minister and Obama are ideologically aligned and developed a cross-border “bromance.”

Obama visited Canada months before the official start of the 2019 campaign. He sat down for a beer at Ottawa’s Big Rig Brewery with Trudeau and offered to help the prime minister.

His endorsement that year trended on Twitter and was seen 3.7 million times. In his new endorsement, he used similar language, calling Trudeau an “effective leader.”

Obama invited Trudeau to a White House state dinner in 2016, which marked the first time the invite had been extended to a sitting prime minister in nearly 20 years.

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